Photoshop Tip: Adding a Vignette to a Photograph

Our Photo Restoration with Photoshop training course, taught by Andy Anderson, is packed with ways to use Photoshop to bring your old, worn photos back to life. Whether your images are torn, cracked, or just worn out, Andy shows you his methods for reviving them to make them worthy of being displayed. This tutorial will show you two different ways to add a vignette to a photograph. 

A vignette is usually added for creative effect, and aims to draw attention to the centre of the frame, or to isolate something out of the image. In this first method, Andy shows you the basic, run-of-the-mill way to add a vignette.

Method 1:

You’ll start out by converting the background into a layer. Then grab the elliptical marquee tool and draw a circle around the subject you want to have in the centre of the vignette. Click the layer mask button, then create a new layer and fill it with white – you can do this by going to Edit>Fill, then choosing the colour white as the fill colour.

To make the visual of the vignette, simply click in the mask layer, then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur, then you can choose how much of a vignette you want. Once you’re done, your result should look something like this:


Standard Vignette

 Method 2:

After you’ve created your background layer, grab the elliptical marquee tool and draw the circle vignette. Next, invert the select by going to Select>Inverse. Once it’s inverted, press Control J (or Command J on a Mac) – this will make a copy of only what you selected. Then working in layer 2, go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. You can then change the blending mode to multiply to create a spotlight effect. Once you’re finished, your result should look something like this:


Not your standard vignette

If you’d like to view the entire tutorial, see the video below. For more tutorials on restoring your old photographs, check out our Photo Restoration training course.




Save $50 when you sign up for an annual Learning Library account Learn More