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When an image contains a vignette, a darkening of the edges, it's common to want to apply some edge lightening to compensate for those dark edges. Sometimes you can actually produce a nice effect to over compensate for any vignetting, or to apply a lightening to the edges of a photo even if the original image didn't show any vignetting at all. In this lesson I'll show you how I approach this task. I'm going to apply a lightening vignette as a Smart Filter. So the first thing I need to do is convert my Background Image layer to a Smart Object.
I'll make sure the Background Image layer is selected on the Layers panel and then, choose Filter > Convert for Smart Filters from the menu. Photoshop will ask me to confirm my decision. I'll click OK and as you can see, my Background Image layer has now been converted to a Smart Object. Now I can apply my filter. I'll go ahead and choose Filter > Lens Correction from the menu and I'm going to go directly to the Custom tab. I'll then apply a lightening vignette increasing the value for the amount slider until the edges become extremely bright.
I'm going over apply the effect in this case, applying a stronger effect then I normally would apply. And I might also adjust my midpoint value. I can increase the value so that the midpoint stretches outward so only the extreme edges of the image are affected. Or pull it inward so more of the image is affected. I'll go ahead and pull it inward just a little bit in this case, and I'll go ahead and click OK. As you can see in this case the effect is quite strong, stronger then I'd really like to affect the image, so I can fine tune things. I can Double-click my Adjustments button over at the far right of Lens Correction and then reduce the opacity amount.
Essentially toning down the effect a little bit. I can also go to the original Lens Correction adjustment. Simply Double-click the Lens Correction Smart Filter here, and that will bring up the Lens Correction dialog. In the dialog, I can go back to my Custom tab, and fine tune the overall adjustments as I see fit. So, for example, if I only want the extreme edges to be affected, and maybe not as strongly as I had originally applied. Then I can go ahead and refine those adjustments and click OK.
Now you'll see the adjustment is mitigated significantly. I can always go back and refine my opacity control, I'll simply Double-click the Adjustment button there to bring up my blending options dialog, and then I can fine tune opacity. That's looking quite a bit better. I'm going to turn off my Smart Filters adjustment by clicking on the eye icon to the left of the Smart Filters and then click to turn it on again. And you can see I have that lightening vignette that helps fade off the edge of the image. I generally apply a lightening vignette when I want to create a mood that conveys a scene from long ago or perhaps add a dream like quality to the image. Whatever your reason it's relatively easy to apply a lightening vignette effect to any photo with great flexibility.
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