As promised last week, here is the second new (to me) vignette technique that I am using all the time now. It works really well when you have a single subject like this Henkel’s Leaf Tailed Gecko image taken at the Jacksonville Zoo. This technique was demonstrated by Unmesh Dinda’s (the new PS guru who has so many tricks up his sleeve that I can’t keep up with his posts) excellent video called How to Match Subject and Background – Part 1. You can really drive the vignette towards your subject very easily.
First I am going to list the steps for this workflow – once you do it a couple times, it becomes very easy to do:
1. Select a Levels Adjustment Layer and set the Output Levels to 0 and roughly 90 – 100 – really darkens down the image.
2. Create a large, hard edged round brush – mine is set to Size 1900 pixels, Hardness 100%, and Opacity and Flow at 100%. If you plan on using this vignette often, it would be a good idea to save the brush settings as a Brush Preset.
3. Set the color swatch to black and click one time on your subject in the Levels layer mask with the new brush.
4. Select the Transform command (CTRL+T) and pull out the white circle to fit the subject more closely. It can be rotated and distorted to fit the area to keep clear of the vignette.
5. Next click in the Properties tab (the black round hole in a white square icon) for the Levels Adjustment Layer and set the Feather to 350-500 pixels – very large and soft. Can Free Transform again if it does not look correct.
6. Adjust the layer opacity if effect too dark.
You can see the way the vignette is centered on the little flat hand on the glass and his head. I wanted to emphasize the interesting background pattern that comes from the right corner also. This type of vignette was exactly what was needed – 500 pixel feather was used on this image and set to 59% layer opacity.
This ring-tailed Lemur whose image was taken at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm (he definitely looks like he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar!) also uses this same technique. Very little was done to this image other than using Topaz (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website info) Studio’s wonderful AI Clear to sharpen him up a little, and a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer to even out the colors a little (see a nice video by Blake Rudis called Color Toning in Photoshop with Gradient Maps and Soft Light Blend Mode where you can download 26 gradients to use with this technique – I used his Gray Gradient 23 for this image which gave it this lovely warm tone). Last step was the Vignette Effect set to a 386 pixel Feather in the Properties Panel. The vignette color was changed to a brownish tone sampled from the image. To do this, a Solid Color Adjustment Layer was clipped (CTRL+ALT between the layers or can go to Layer -> Create Clipping Mask with the Solid Color Fill Adjustment Layer highlighted) to the Levels Adjustment Layer. It is fun to try different colors to see if one really makes the image pop. The Levels Adjustment Layer was then set to 84% layer opacity. I think it was a nice addition for this particular image’s vignette.
This beautiful Great Egret was in the mist of taking off (the Rookery is getting very busy at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm) when I caught this snapshot – it was not processed using LR/ACR – but just Topaz Studio’s AI Clear and Topaz Adjust was used to get the pretty details in the wings. There was a little blue haloing in the sky area so it was changed using one of my blog techniques called A New Look at Chromatic Aberration where a Gaussian Filter is applied to remove it. The vignette was added as a last step with the Feather set to 200 pixels.
My three previous vignette blogs were from PS guru Matt Kloskowski using his very good technique (How to Create a Subtle Vignette blog), Blake Rudis’ using a very creative technique (Yet Another Great Way to Create a Vignette! blog), and using a Lightroom/ACR technique called Another Great Vignette Method by Jesus Ramirez. Hopefully out of these four very different types of vignettes, you will never have a problem with finding the correct vignette for each of your images. Have a great week – Spring is almost here!……Digital Lady Syd
This week I am doing a little video on how I brought these tiny yellow flowers into sharper focus using one of my favorite dodging and burning techniques and show what a few of my other workflow techniques look like once applied. This image could have been used with several other textures or have been cropped differently for a totally look. I really liked the negative space and dreamy feel of the image, so I left it the way it was done for the video. Links to more information are provided below. Here is the video:
Here is a list of places that will give you more info or where you can get more information on some of the techniques or resources presented in the video:
- Lightroom Preset called Hazy Days 17 by 2 Lil’ Owls – See sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website link, she has a lot of great Lightroom presets besides her gorgeous textures.
- My Fun Photoshop The Best Dodging and Burning Technique blog – basically same technique as presented in the video except that a black brush color is used to burn instead of sampling a dark color from the image.
- I Qwillo Brush from GrutBrushes.com – keep checking back on Monday’s on Nicolai’s site for a free brush each week – love his brushes!
- Adobe’s Paper Texture Pro – free panel that can be added into Photoshop to quickly add and change textures layers to your images – very useful.
- My Fun Photoshop How to Add a Spot of Light blog – the blog used a technique by Corey Barker, but Pratik Naik uses the same technique with the soft round low flow brush – try this brush in different colors to get some interesting effects.
- My Fun Photoshop How to Use a Black & White Adjustment Layer to See Contrast in an Image blog – should use this technique on every image to make sure your focal point is standing out.
- My Fun Photoshop Yet Another Great Way to Create a Vignette! blog – same technique used in the blog except the Gradient Editor was opened and the gradient color changed from black to a soft purplish color in the bottom left tab. Blake Rudis came up with a brilliant idea here!
If anyone has questions on some of the procedures performed on this image, just drop me a question in the comments below and I will go over it more clearly. This was a pretty fast pace for describing all the steps followed in this image. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and Happy Halloween!…..Digital Lady Syd
This week I am just presenting a simple vignette technique – I have to admit I am always looking for the best and easiest way to create one. Blake Rudis, one of the best Photoshop gurus around, used this technique recently in a video – he always comes up with really original ways to use Photoshop and this simple vignette technique is one of them. Here is the video link called How to Make a Gradient Vignette in Photoshop.
To sum up the steps to what is happening, set the Foreground/Background swatches to black and white, then add a Gradient Fill Adjustment Layer, set the Style to Radial and check the Reverse box. A gradient must be created once to do this technique quickly so double click on the gradient strip in the dialog box. In the Gradient Editor dialog, on the top edge of the strip, drag the left tab right to Location 68. On the lower edge, move the left black tab all the way over next to the black right tab. Click the New button and name the gradient (mine is named BRudis Vignette) and it saves at the bottom of the Presets list. Click OK to return to the Gradient Fill dialog, adjust the opening size by setting the Scale to 700 to over 800%. By dragging the cursor in the image (it turns into the Move Tool), the vignette can be moved around. Just for your information, before adding the vignette the image was duplicated and taken into Topaz (see website on sidebar at my Tidbits Blog) Studio – used my uploaded to the Community SJ Small Flower preset which contains the Impression Adjustment for the painterly effect. In Photoshop the layer was set to just 42%. A layer above was set to Overlay and with a large soft brush set to a really light yellow, the flowers in the center were painted in to lighten up the focal point – then the layer was set to 77% layer opacity. As a last step the Gradient Fill Adjustment Layer vignette was placed on top at 72% layer opacity.
This Hilton Waikoloa Village image used the same type of vignette – I created a little action to add it onto the image. (Basically two steps: first add a Gradient Fill Adjustment Layer to image, and second go into the Gradient Fill dialog and check Reverse, Radial and a large scale like 750%, then go into the Gradient Editor by clicking on the gradient strip and choose the new gradient preset, and OK twice.) This vignette creates a very simple and subtle effect. Also try changing the blend modes, using Blend If tabs in the Layer Style Dialog Box, or painting out other areas in the layer mask. For the above the adjustment layer was set to Soft Light blend mode at 53% layer opacity. The image was also first post-processed in Topaz Studio using Precision Contrast, Blurs, Focal Blur, and Color Theme Adjustments.
A colored vignette can get a different look to the image. The London Eye image used a soft brown-colored vignette effect. To change the vignette color, apply the BRudis Vignette gradient. In the gradient strip click on the bottom left tab and in the color field, change the color – it changes on the fly as you sample in the image or try a different color. The landscape was set to a Scale of 1000% do to the large width of the image, Soft Light blend mode, and layer opacity of 85%. Topaz Studio was used with my posted preset called SJ Building Sharp applied.
I am finding this is a very fast and natural way to add a vignette. A while back Matt Kloskowski had a great way of creating a vignette that I presented in my How to Create a Subtle Vignette blog. I find I use them both – sometimes one looks better than the other. Most of the plug-ins have very nice vignette presets. Another quick vignette can be made from a Curves Adjustment Layer (by dropping the right top point down the side and then painting in the layer mask with a soft black brush). Overall this technique by Blake is probably the fastest and easiest to use quickly, especially if the action is created . Well that’s it for this week – have a good one!…..Digital Lady Syd