Use the Radial Gradient tool in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to create your own photo vignette.

What you'll need

This sample file is an Adobe Stock asset you can use to practice what you learn in this tutorial. If you want to use the sample file beyond this tutorial, you can purchase a license on Adobe Stock. Check out the ReadMe file in the folder for the terms that apply to your use of this sample file.

What you learned: Use the Radial Gradient tool to create a photo vignette you design yourself

Adding a vignette to a photo is a great way to draw attention to the subject of the photo. Often the Vignette slider in the Effects panel is all you need to add a center-focused vignette with dark or light edges. However, if you want to draw attention to an off-center subject or add other effects to a vignette, try using the Radial Gradient tool to design your own vignette effect.

Apply effects outside a radial gradient

  1. Select the Radial Gradient tool by clicking its icon in the column on the right or pressing the R key.
  2. Drag over the focal point of your photo. This focal point does not have to be in the center of the photo since you can position a radial gradient anywhere.
  3. Make sure the Invert checkbox in the Radial Gradient tool panel is checked, so that any adjustments you make will be applied outside the gradient outline.
  4. Drag sliders in the Radial Gradient panel to make your adjustments. In addition to dragging the Exposure slider to create a dark or light vignette, you could apply other effects, such as Saturation, Sharpness, and color adjustments, to bring attention to the focal point.

Optionally, you could add another radial gradient with brightening effects inside the gradient outline to enhance the focal point of the photo even further.

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