by Julieanne Kost

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July 1, 2011

There are several ways to add a vignette to an image in Lightroom and/or Adobe Camera Raw. You can always start with the Lens Correction panel, click Manual and use the Lens Vignetting slider to increase/decrease the amount of vignetting.  Many photographers prefer this method because it does a great job of simulating an in-camera vignette effect. If however, you have significantly cropped the image, then you may need to select the Effects panel and apply the Post-Crop Vignetting (because the Post-Crop Vignetting Effects vignette is applied to the image after cropping). There are three Styles:

•  Highlight Priority – enables highlight recovery but can lead to color shifts in darkened areas of a photo. It is suitable for photos with bright image areas such as clipped specular highlights and behaves more like a traditional exposure burn.

•  Color Priority – minimizes color shifts in darkened areas of a photo but cannot perform highlight recovery. Also behaves more like a traditional exposure burn.

•  Paint Overlay – similar to an overlay of black or white paint.

Note: If using Color Priority try using the Highlights slider to reintroduce contrast in the highlights. This will be most noticeable if the vignetting is applied over bright areas such as highlights in a sky.