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In order to keep the viewer's eye within the image, it can be helpful to darken down the edges of a photograph. Let's select the MountainLight image, and then use Cmd+R or Ctrl+R on Windows, in order to open it in Camera Raw. In order to add a postcrop vignette, we'll scoot go over to the effects panel and then you'll notice there are three different styles of vignetting. There is Highlight Priority, Color Priority and Paint Priority. I think the most common option is the Color Priority. But let's take a look at Highlight Priority first. When I drag my Amount Slider over to the left, we are going to be darkening down the edges of my image. The highlight priority enables highlight recovery in bright areas like specular highlights.
But, it can lead to certain shifts in the darkened areas of the image. And for that reason I typically choose the color priority instead. Now the color priority can't recover your highlights, but I don't tend to get as many color shifts with this. It's also usually a little bit more subtle than the Highlight Priority. There's also the Paint Overlay option and, although this might look good on screen, I have noticed that when you print with this option, your print tends to get a little bit muddy because Camera Raw is basically adding black paint on top of your image.
When you use paint overlay, or if we move the amount slider to the other direction, it's using white paint. The point being is that it's very different from what the color priority and highlight priority options do. They're actually behaving much more like a traditional dodge and burn in the dark room. So let's take a look at the rest of the sliders. We know amount goes from dark to the left to light on the right. Let's take off the feather for a moment so we can see what the other sliders do. The midpoint shifts the midpoint in if we move it to the left or out if we move it to the right. The Roundness slider will go from a rectangle on the left over to a circle or an oval on the right.
The Feather amount is going to soften the edge so that it's harder to tell where you've applied the vignette and where you haven't. The Highlight slider can help you to retain highlights even in the vignetted area. So if we look at this area for one moment without the Highlight slider. You can see that those bright highlights tend to get a little bit muddy. When I move the highlights to the right. It's like we're telling the vignette to leave those highlights alone. Alright, well obviously this is way too much of an amount, so let's go ahead and bring the amount slider down and bring the midpoint down. Of course if we wanted to preview this we could tap the P key to see a before and after.
And I want to mention that this called the Post Crop Vignetting for a reason. If I tap the C key to get in my crop tool and I drag out a crop let's say from the upper left right about to here. And then I apply that crop, you'll notice that the Post Crop Vignette was redrawn, so it's now being drawn around this cropped portion of the image. So one of the things that you might want to keep in mind is if you're shooting with a wider angle lens and you're getting some vignetting on your images because of the lens that you're photographing with. You want to be sure to move to the Lens Correction panel and Enable the Lens Profile Correction because that will remove the vignetting that was caused from the lens.
Because that vignetting would be showing up here on the left side, but because I've cropped the file, we wouldn't see the same vignetting on the right side. So it would appear lopsided because of the lens, not because of the post-crop vignette, so use the lens correction to remove any vignetting caused by the lens. And that way, when you use the post crop vignetting, it's much more likely the vignette will be even because you've removed the lens distortion. Finally, one thing that I would recommend, is that you use the keyboard shortcut Cmd - minus or Cmd + on the Mac, or Ctrl minus or Ctrl plus on Windows in order to zoom out To just view your image at different sizes because vinyets can have a different effect at a different size.
In this case I think i've added way too much of an amount so I'll go ahead and back off on that and then tap the P key again to see the preview before and after. So there you have it, an easy way to add an vingette to image in order to keep the viewers eye in the center of the photograph.
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