Learn Basic Photo Editing

Your Ultimate Guide to Vignette Effects

By Isabelle | Basic Photo Editing Photo Editor Tutorials

It seems like life is always moving at a mile a minute. Between our jobs, social obligations, and personal projects, it can be difficult to find the time to slow down and appreciate the little things. This can feel especially true when you're trying to share your creative work: There’s so much art out there, how much time will people really spend with something you’ve made? But — and we think this applies to life as well as photography — if you guide people’s attention towards the things that matter most, you can get them to stop for a moment and take in the view. 

vignette effect example

With the Photo Editor’s Vignette Tool, it’s not hard to make that happen. By reducing the brightness and saturation around the edges of your image, the Vignette tool creates a soft border that slowly guides your audience’s gaze towards the center of your picture. It will create stunning images, grab the attention of your audience, and help them rediscover the beauty of photography.

Drawing Focus With Vignettes

In literature, movies, and plays, a vignette is a short scene that focuses on a single character or moment. Although brief, they are written with great detail and tend to make a strong impact on audiences. In photography, the idea is very similar. A photo with a vignette is an image that fades into its background without a definite border. By doing so, it creates a window for viewers to see your photo. This helps to draw their attention towards the most powerful elements of your photograph and elicit a strong reaction from them. Also, it really makes your images pop!

To achieve this effect in your photography, first, upload an image to the Photo Editor. Then, go click on the Edit tab in the menu on the left and select Vignette.

go to edit tab followed by vignette

Instant Effects and Impressive Results

With BeFunky, it takes just a few clicks to add a beautiful vignette to your photo, and you can customize it exactly to your taste. 

When you’re ready to start editing, you’ll be given the option to create a vignette in the shape of a circle, square, or in straight lines. Traditional, more subtle vignettes are rounded.

To achieve this look, just click the circle icon to enter Radial mode. Once you do, a circular target will appear on your screen. You can adjust its size or shape by clicking on the target’s handles and dragging. The circular handles will let you adjust your target with locked aspect ratios, while the square handles give you full control over your target’s shape. 

edit vignette effect

After you’ve sized your target, click and drag to place it over the part of your photo you want your audience to focus on. When it’s exactly where you want it to be, you can adjust the Opacity to change the intensity of the effect, and then choose a Color. When you apply the effect, your photo will gradually fade to a darker color around the edges, drawing the eye to the bright focal point of the image.  

Vignettes can serve as a great alternative to frames. Although BeFunky's Photo Editor offers a wide selection of photo frames, sometimes a subtle vignette can have a much stronger impact.

Adding Dramatic Flair With Vignettes

Besides allowing your audience to slow down and appreciate your photography, a vignette can help add drama to your photos. By creating a dark border, you can enhance contrast and embolden highlights.

One way to personalize and create a more dramatic vignette is to use a square rather than a radial vignette. To do this, just select Square from the Vignette tool menu. You can click the handles on the square to adjust its size and orientation until it creates the ideal focal point for your photo. Remember, whatever parts of your photo are inside of this box will be unaffected by the Vignette tool. For more personalization, you can also change the color of your vignette.

change vignette color

Linear mode is another helpful feature of our Vignette tool, which you can use to alter your vignette so it fades away from your subject in straight lines.

Just choose Linear from the Vignette tool menu, and the target will transform into two lines. To adjust their size and orientation, just click on the target handles and drag them over the area of your image you would like to remain clear and unaffected by the Vignette tool. But be cautious, the closer you bring the lines together, the darker your vignette effect will be! When you’re satisfied with the results, click Apply.

vignette effect change angle

Personalize Every Aspect of Your Vignette

Before photo editing became popular, it was difficult for people to add vignettes to their photos. The effect either happened naturally during the developing process, or it was done intentionally by burning the outer edges of the film stock. Thanks to BeFunky, that’s not the case anymore!

You’ve already learned how to change the color, size, shape, and orientation of your vignettes. But what if your image still feels like it’s missing something? To get the exact look you’re aiming for, try our range of preset Blend Modes. Each will instantly apply a unique vignette effect that will enhance your photo.

change vignette shape

Feeling moody? Try our Darken Blend Mode to instantly add a bold vignette to your photo. Rather keep it light? Our Lighten Blend Mode creates a perfectly balanced vignette for any photo. This effect offers 16 blend modes, so be sure to try them all!

Creating Your Own Vignette With BeFunky

If you want to make a vignette that is intuitive but also highly customizable, BeFunky has your back. Just look at how this simple vignette effect enhances the focal point of this photo:

vignette effect after
vignette effect before

Before

After

With BeFunky's Vignette tool, you can create stunning images, guide the gaze of your viewers, and help your photos stand out in a feed. Check out our Photo Editor to get started!

Photo Editing, Simplified.


Photo Editing. Simplified