Vignettes are a simple, classy way to add depth and dimension to any type of photo. A vignette is when you have a small illustration or portrait photograph that fades into its background without a border, and it’s mainly used to give a nice, dramatic pop to a photo. You can also use vignettes to soften harsh edges for a dreamy feel or even use them in lieu of a frame to give your photo a more polished look.

Today, I’m going to show you when and how to use the BeFunky Photo Editor to perfect your vignette skills.

Getting Started:

I’ve found that the vignette tool is most striking on bright or light photos because it helps to make the subject of the photo stand out. While it can still be effective on darker photos and add a nice dramatic flair, it doesn’t have quite the same effect. For this tutorial, I’ve chosen a photo of my very own muscle car in front of the Admiral’s Mansion on Mare Island, CA.

the beast unedited

I then take my picture and use the nifty auto-enhance tool on the BeFunky Photo Editor, which I apply at 100%. Now I’m ready to make the vignette magic happen.

auto enhance

Finding The Right Fit:

The vignette tool can add depth to any type of photo with whatever effect you might be using, so it all depends on what your goal is for your picture. If you want to keep it simple and utilize the natural light and colors in the photo, you can make your vignette slightly more intense to make those colors pop. I did this by setting the vignette mode to normal and applying the amount at 50%, and the strength at 1.50%.

no filter edit

This allows me to highlight the colors in my photo and to make my subject the star of the show.

the beast 1

Playing With Effects:

Vignette can also be used to give a nice vintage feel to any photo. Because the subject of my photo is a vintage muscle car, I decide to play around with some vintage effects and land on the Black and White 4 filter and apply it at 100%. With this edit, I want to go for an old silent movie effect, so I add to the existing vignette that I had from my previous edit, and I up it to 75% with a strength of 1.40 for that dramatic flavor.

B&W vignette

I adore black and white photographs, and I especially like how the vignette tool can enhance them. Not only does it make my Mustang stand out, but it also makes the house in the background look foreboding and spooky, going with my dramatic theme.

the beast 2

Staying with the vintage theme, I go back to my original natural light edit and find the sepia filter, which I adjust to 80% to make the red of my car remain decipherable. I want this vintage photo to be softer than my black and white one, so I adjust the vignette to 40% with a strength of .90.

sepia vignette

I like the warmth that this filter provides to my photo and that the natural lighting and colors in the background are still easy to read.

the beast 3

The next effect I discover that looks awesome with vignette is “Cooler 1.” Winter is coming, so it’s only appropriate to pay homage to it with my vignette edit. Because the filter is pretty intense, I adjust it to 40% and add a vignette of 30% and strength of .90.

cooler 1 vignette

This edit gives my photo a really cool depth of color around the edges because of the blue hue of the filter. The vignette goes from being fairly solid black to a rich, deep blue that is perfect for the winter.

the beast 4

Now you’re ready to use those mad vignette skills to give your photos the oomph they may be missing!

Ready to put your skills to the test?