Wednesday, January 18, 2012


There are several meanings to the word “vignette”. One sense is a decorative design. In optics, vignetting means incomplete coverage of an image and the subsequent darkening of edges.

Many photo editing applications provide a collection of effects that can be applied. “Vignette” is one of those effects. Picasa includes this effect.

Having spent a good share of my working career in the photography industry, I have great resistance to applying this effect to a photo. I have admired the lengths optical designers have gone to to reduce or eliminate vignetting and been astonished at the optical tricks – pardon the expression – that have been employed. It seems heretical to undo their hard work intentionally.

Yet, some photos lend themselves to manipulation to bring out the feeling of the image that the straight photo cannot relate as well. I applied other effects to reduce the detail and bring out just form and color to the images here. Primarily these were “painting” effects. Turns out that the additional use of vignettes to darken the edges seemed rather pleasing. The blending into darkness of the edges seems to bring out the light and make the images more luminous and more inviting than the straight photos.

The images are more impressive when displayed large. Click on the images to see them in a post on Silver Canvas.


My Way




Fallen Leaves


Fall Bossoms


Time of Plenty



© 2011 Ludwig Keck

1 comment:

  1. I have applied the vignette effect to a few pictures. I find it a good way sometimes to isolate the subject.