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In Photoshop CS6 Essential Training, Julieanne Kost demonstrates how to produce high-quality images in a short amount of time, using a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS6, Bridge, and Camera Raw.
The course details the Photoshop features and creative options, and shows efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, the course explores techniques for nondestructive editing and compositing using layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more.
One of the ways to get a more realistic-looking vignette would be to use the Lens Correction filter. Now, that might seem a little counterintuitive, but when you add a vignette to an image, if you're adding, say, solid black, or solid white to lighten or darken an image, you can get kind of a fake-looking edge. So let's give this Lens Correction filter a try. Now obviously, I don't want to apply it to the background layer itself, because I want it to be more flexible than that. So I'll add a new layer, but I'm going to hold down the Option or the Alt key when I add this layer, because I need to change the blend mode to Overlay, and I need to fill this with an Overlay-neutral gray, which is 50%.
I'll go ahead and call it Vignette and click OK. Now we'll choose Filter and then Lens Correction. In the Custom area of the Lens Correction, you'll see that I can darken down my image edges with a vignette, but if I move it right now, we're not going to see any change, because I'm not viewing the whole image. So I'll go ahead and select Fit on Screen. Now, as I move the Amount slider to the left, we can watch the edges burn in. If I want to move in the midpoint, I could do that as well.
When I click OK, we can see that effect. Now, I think it's a little bit too strong on this image, so I might want to change the blend mode. As long as I keep within this grouping of blend modes, the gray will automatically disappear in the center, so let's try Soft Light. If I wanted to decrease the effect even more, I could always change the opacity of the layer. I actually like the effect, but instead of making the vignette darker, I'd like to make the vignette lighter on this image. Because I've got the layer targeted, all I need to do is select Image and then Adjustments and Invert, and wherever I darken down the edges using Lens Correction, I will now invert those darkened edges and they will be lightened edges.
So here we can see a before and after. Just a slight lightning of the edges I think really improves the entire image because it draws your eye into the center of the flower.
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