A model standing in front of a field of flowers as a vignette effect is applied in Adobe Photoshop with icon overlaid

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How to add a vignette in Adobe Photoshop.

Vignettes are an excellent way to focus a viewer’s attention on a certain part of your photo. Learn how to create them in Photoshop. 

Vignettes bring focus and artistic flair.

A vignette effect is a dark or light overlay that brings focus to the center of a photo or design. A vignette can be circular or square and draws the viewer’s attention to a specific place in the artwork. 

Varied vignettes for unique photos.

There are many ways to use Photoshop vignette tools to evoke different moods or showcase specific aspects of your photos. 

The vignette effect being modified on a smiling model's portrait with slider window overlaid

Take focused portraits.

With a vignette, you can de-emphasize a distracting background to draw attention to the person in your portrait shot.

Focus is drawn to a beauty product on a marble table using the vignette effect in Adobe Photoshop

Highlight a product.

Use a vignette to keep the focus on what’s for sale in product photography — even in unusual background settings like the outdoors.

A hazy black-and-white photo of a lone tree in a field creating a dreamlike effect thanks to a vignette

Create a big mood.

Vignettes can add a dreamlike feeling to a photograph. Use them to enhance landscapes, a foreground color, or anything else you want to give a moody quality. 

A modern image of a roadside cafe sign being given a vintage look using vignette effects in Adobe Photoshop

Go retro.

Achieve a vintage look with a vignette that mimics the aspect ratio and aperture of an old photo. In Photoshop, you can also include additional filters to achieve this effect.

How to make a vignette in Photoshop.

Create vignettes easily in Photoshop using Camera Raw.


1. Layer it:

Add your image to your project as a new layer.


2. Convert it:

Right-click or Control-click the layer in the Layers panel and select Convert to a Smart Object.


3. Filter it:

Navigate to Filter › Camera Raw Filter.


4. Vignette it:

Choose the Camera Raw drop-down menu called Optics and use the Vignetting slider to adjust the intensity of your vignette.


When should you use a vignette?

Vignettes are tricky because they can often dramatically change the look of a photograph. Here’s some good reasons to use (and not use) them. 

An artist drawing at their studio desk in bright focus using a vignette to darken their surroundings

Mute distractions.

A vignette is useful for fixing distracting elements that are around the edges of your photograph. Often, simply darkening them with a vignette effect brings the focus back to your work. 

An in-camera vignette splitting two subjects with shadow as they sit next to each other on a roof

In-camera vignettes.

Some camera lenses will allow you to create a physical vignette so you can see how your image will look before you even snap the photo. This is a great way to determine if a vignette is right for your image. 

The sun and its reflections on a river behind a smiling model are focused using vignette effects

Offset the eye.

While many vignettes are centered in the frame, you can also skew them into different shapes or offset them to change the main thrust of your photo. 

Two photos of wheat illuminated from behind by the sun are juxtaposed to compare the use of a vignette

Don’t work against your composition.

While vignettes are a great way to achieve many different photographic styles and effects, if they’re distracting from the photo you’re taking, don’t use them.

Adobe Photoshop

Do more with Adobe Photoshop.

More ways to create vignettes with Photoshop tutorials.

These step-by-step guides will help you create original images using the compelling gradients of vignettes. 

A hiker looks back at the camera during a hike with the Adobe Photoshop radial filter being applied

Create vignettes with the radial filter.

In Camera Raw, you can use the radial filter to create a vignette with a unique color, opacity, and size. 

A person on the sidewalk of a city street looks at the camera with a layer mask slider bisecting their face

Layer mask to create vignetting effects.

Create a custom vignette using an adjustment layer, brush tools, and blend modes. Save the final result as a preset to use it on future projects.

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