• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint

Applying Vignetting

Vignetting was a technique frequently used in the early days of photography to make up for deficiencies in both the camera lens and the glass plates used for negatives. Not much was understood about the art and science of lens grinding, except that the lens tended to be sharpest in the middle and the focus would fall off rapidly as you moved from the center to the edges of the resulting photo. Photo plates were prepared by brushing plain glass with a solution of gum Arabic or some other colloidal (sticky stuff) and silver nitrate. (Chemists, don’t come after me. I’m sure there was more in the mix, but those were the important elements.) The gunk seldom went on evenly, especially near the edges of the plate, so the edges of the photo would be correspondingly messy. Today, that messy edge look is considered a special effect, and is frequently seen in black-and-white digital photography. I’ll tell you how to do it in our final hour.

Anyway, both of these factors resulted in pictures that were okay in the middle and both fuzzy and messy at the edges. Soon, the better photographers figured out a way to disguise the bad parts, while making it look like an extra fancy effect. They invented the vignette. It’s simply a mask that fades from the edges of the picture toward the middle, so that the photo appears to be fading out at the edges.


PREVIEW

                                                                          

Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial


  
  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint