Using the Radial Filter in Lightroom for a vignette

One of the new features in Lightroom 5 is the Radial Filter which is a great new way to make selective edits to your images. This new feature is found in the Develop module and is really simple to use if you have used the brushes in Lightroom before. It will allow you to draw a circle around any part of your image and then apply local adjustments to the part outside of the circle.

Today I wanted to show you how to quickly use this filter to make a vignette around your image that isn’t based in the center. Many times we want to use a vignette on our images to help draw the eye to the main subject but the subject isn’t in the center of the image. The Post Crop Vignette tool in the effects section of the Develop module is a good tool but will center the vignette and not give you full control over the placement of the vignette. Here i’ll show you how easy it is to create a vignette around part of an image that is off center.

Here is the original image we want to burn all around the baby to just highlight her.

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First the Radial Filter is located right below the histogram to the left of the brush. Click on the tool and then drag and draw a circle around the part of the image you want to be the center of the vignette. Just like any other selection tool in Lightroom you can adjust the size of the circle with the handles.

radial filter lightroom

Once you have the area selected that you would like to be the center of the Vignette then move the exposure slider in the Radial Filter tool down to a negative number. This will darken the areas around the circle to give you a vignette effect. You can also use the feather option at the very bottom to control the fade so you have a more natural looking effect.

radial filter lightroom2

It’s a quick and easy way to create your own custom vignette. Now fire up Lightroom 5 and start playing away :)

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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