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The core strength of Adobe Photoshop is the way it enables you to improve the quality of your images, whether you're fixing a major problem or making a subtle adjustment. In this workshop Tim Grey explores a wide variety of techniques to help you get the best results when optimizing your images. He begins with basics like cropping, changing brightness and contrast, and correcting color balance, then moves on to more advanced adjustments like Shadows/Highlights, Curves, and dodging and burning. Then learn how to make targeted adjustments that affect only selected parts of the image and apply creative adjustments that don't so much fix a problem as add a unique touch. And best of all, Tim teaches all these techniques as part of an overall workflow designed to help you work quickly, efficiently, and nondestructively.
Generally speaking you might try to avoid a vignette effect in your image, for example, staying away from wide angle lenses that tend to have a little bit more light fall off out toward the edges of the frame. But sometimes you might actually want to add a vignette effect to an image. Let's take a look at one of the ways you can add a darkening of the edges to any photo in Photoshop. The lens correction filter provides a very easy way to add a vignette effect. Of course it can always be used to compensate for an existing vignette, but here we're going to add a darkening around the edge, just to help sort of frame up the image a little bit, to help keep your eye inside the image. Before I actually add that filter effect, I want to convert my background image layer to a smart object so that I can apply a flexible filter to the image. I'll go ahead and choose Filter, and then Convert For Smart Filters from the menu. I'll get an alert confirming that I want to convert this image to a Smart Object. I'll go ahead and click OK.
And now you can see that the background image layer has been converted, in this case, to a Smart Object. And that enables the use of Smart Filters. Among the many filters available, we can use the Lens Correction Filter. So from the Filter menu, I'll choose Lens Correction. That will bring up the Lens Correction dialog, which we can use to apply some automatic corrections to the image, in order to compensate for the behavior of lens for example. I'll go ahead and turn the geometric distortion option off. I basically don't want to apply any of the automatic adjustments in this particular case.
I'll go ahead and switch to the Custom tab, and that's where I'll find the vignette controls. I can drag the amount slider to the left to darken or to the right to lighten. In both case adjusting the outer edge of the photo. For this photo I want to darken up those edges just a little bit. I can also adjust the mid-point. If I drag to the left, then the vignette effect will go further toward the center of the photo. And if I drag to the right, that vignette will be constrained more to the outer edges of the image. I think I'll keep that vignette out toward the edges just a little bit, and maybe I'll darken it down a little bit more.
Once I'm happy with the result I can click the OK button, and that vignette effect has been applied to the photo. You can see that the edges are darkened a little bit. Of course I've applied the effect as a Smart filter, and that means I can go back and fine-tune the settings for that filter very, very easily. For starters I can preview what the image looked like before the smart filter was applied, simply by clicking to the left of the smart filter's layer mask. That will enable or disable the effect of the smart filters. If I decide I want to change the effect, I can simply double-click on the Lens Correction Smart Filter, that will bring up the Lens Correction dialog, and I can go back to my Custom tab.
And fine-tune the vignette effect, for example. We'll assume that I'm happy with this result, I'll go ahead and click OK. The other option that I have is to adjust the settings for the filter, for the blending for that filter. If I double-click the Adjustment button to the far right of lens correction, that will bring up my Blending Options dialog. And here I can, for example, reduce the opacity of the effect, so if I'm mostly happy with the result. But I think I just need to tone it down a little bit. Instead of going back to lens correction, I can simply reduce the strength of the final effect.
I'll reduce it just a little bit here, and then click OK. And then I'll preview the before and after, so I'll turn off my smart filters. Turn them back on, and that looks to be a good effect. I don't have too much darkening of the edges, that really stands out. But it does help to frame up the photo just a little bit better. So as you can see by using a smart filter to apply a lens correction adjustment, we can add a vignette affect with great flexibility, and it's very, very easy to do.
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