Adding a vignette to an image involves adding a subtle (or not so subtle) edge effect to it. A popular vignette technique involves darkening the edges of your image – it gives the image a slight border which helps keep the viewer’s eye in the photo. This is an effect which has been popular for years and which was is a feature of some classic film cameras such as the Holga (click to enlarge image below).
Nowadays many photographers and digital artists use vignettes as a way to finish their images. There are lots of ways to add a vignette to an image and here are some of them. I’ve included methods that work with Lightroom, Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. The latter process will work with most photo editing programs.
To add a vignette in Lightroom, move to the Develop module and choose the Vignette options. Set the Post Crop Amount value in a negative value to darken the edges. Set the Roundness to a low value such as -70 to get a rectangular vignette and set the Feather to around 50 so it is soft but not too soft.