Hands-on Photo Tips: Creating a Non-destructive Vignette

The Refuge (HDR Panorama)Darkening the edges of your photos can really help you in getting more depth and in leading your viewers’ eyes to the important elements of your photo. This is called “vignetting”. In this video tutorial, you will learn how to create a vignette using non-destructive editing. That is, you will not change the pixels of your image in any way. Instead, the vignette will be on a separate layer on top of your image, and you can turn it on an off or change it at any time, independently of your work on the photo. I will show you how to do this in Photoshop.

At the end of the video, we will create a Photoshop action that allows you to create a vignette with a single mouse click. To download this action, scroll down the the end of this post.

Tip: It’s best to watch this video in 1080p full-screen. Start the video below by clicking on it and activate 1080p mode by using the gear wheel icon in the player. Then, click the the icon that shows the four corners of a square. The player will go fullscreen.

Watch the video from the start…

…or jump straight to a specific topic

  • Introduction 00:15
  • Sample image explained 00:40
  • Destructive vs. non-destructive editing explained 02:06
  • Using the burn tool (destructive) 02:32
  • Using the Lens Correction filter (destructive) 03:42
  • Creating a Non-destructive vignette 05:28
  • Creating a Vignette Photoshop action 08:43

Download the Vignette Photoshop action

Here is the Vignette Photoshop action I created in the video: Vignette Photoshop Action by farbspiel-photo.com.atn

Download the ‘.atn’ file and double-click on it to open it in Photoshop. This action works in Photoshop CS4, CS5 and CS6. Don’t forget to make a selection each time before you start the action.

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6 replies
  1. Harry Schmieder
    Harry Schmieder says:

    Hallo Klaus,

    wie immer ein sehr guter Tipp von Dir.

    Vignetten sind ja für Photoshopper nichts Neues.

    Aber Dein Vignetten-Workflow ist der effektivste und zugleich rationellste, den ich kenne. Auch und gerade wegen der danach angefertigten Aktion.

    Das Ganze auch noch einfach und verständlich erklärt.
    Was will man mehr?!

    Was ich auch sehr schätze an Deiner Arbeit ist die Mühe, die Du Dir für Deine Besucher mit den vielen tollen Tutorials gibst.
    Das ist auf vielen anderen Websites längst nicht selbstverständlich.

    Danke und GROSSES Kompliment.

    Gruss Harry.

  2. Scott Plumb
    Scott Plumb says:

    Great tutorial. Just the right speed for a fairly new CS6 user to follow. I appreciate that. Thanks for making this. I will watch for more!

    • farbspiel
      farbspiel says:

      Hi Sandy,

      obviously, your browser configuration is messed up. Please right-click on the download link and choose “Save as…”. Save the file to some folder on your computer and double click on it. Photoshop should be associates with ‘.atn’ files and open it automatically.



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