Take your photos from good to great

Whether you’ve been taking pictures for years or just bought your first camera, photography is an art enjoyed by people around the globe. And while people have captured the beauty around them for generations, today it’s easier than ever to share those photos with friends and family, or even strangers, anywhere in the world.

These days, there are even opportunities to see the photos you take on a worldwide stage. For example, photographers who want some extra exposure can use the new Bing Homepage photo app on Facebook, to submit their own photos for consideration for the Bing homepage image. With a potential audience of millions of people, it’s more important than ever to make sure your photos are beautiful.

Carl O’Connell of Landmark art and Carl O’Connell Photography, knows what it takes to make photographs truly memorable. Make sure your photos are ready for family, friends, and the world by following these easy steps.

*Lighting is the secret sauce of a great picture. Whether you’re using natural or artificial light, the appropriate lighting makes the difference between a good picture and a great one. Next time you’re taking pictures outdoors, wait for a cloud to move across the sun to make a potentially flat image look vibrant instead. If you’re taking pictures indoors, Ara recommends moving lamps or adding candles to change the atmosphere and mood of a photo.

*Make your photograph unique with a perspective that’s all your own. Don’t know where to start? Check out the Bing homepage for inspiration, as it features unique images from around the world each day, often from unique vantage points. Ara also says, “When you see something worth photographing, chances are most people have seen it from the same perspective that you’re initially seeing.” Instead, ask yourself, how can I bring this to life in a new way? You’ll be surprised at the results you get just by re-thinking where you stand, kneel or lay as you take your photos.

*Don’t forget your equipment. Tripods are often disregarded because of their size but they are fantastic tools for photographers. Especially when taking shots of landscapes or wildlife the tripod makes a big difference in the quality of photographs, as it helps stabilize your camera, resulting in a clearer and sharper photograph, particularly in lower light situations. Most cameras these days have a tripod mount, including many point and shoots, and for those on the go, compact tripods are easier than ever to find.

*Grab your camera and get out there. Ara tells new photographers not to be afraid to put their skills to the test and start taking a camera with you everywhere you go. With the introduction of digital photography, there is incredible freedom to capture memories like never before. Practice, experiment, and keep trying. Learning to capture beautiful photographs is a life-long journey and there’s always something new to learn, see and capture. A beautiful photograph isn’t captured by theory, it’s captured by emotion.

Great tips for capturing memorable back-to-school photos

As children across the country gear up with their new backpack, school supplies, clothes and haircuts, parents are reaching for their cameras, ready to capture another milestone: the annual back-to-school photo. This year, capture that memorable shot like a professional with a few expert tips and tricks.

Lights, camera, action! Here’s how to get the best back-to-school photos of your child.

Preparation: Change the batteries in your camera or charge your phone the night before school starts so it’s ready to go in the morning.

Lights: Make sure you have proper lighting – using natural light like the sun may be best. Lighting can make or break your photo, so be sure there is enough light to showcase your child, yet not distract from the photo. Avoid having your child look directly into the sunlight, which causes squinty eyes. Also avoid shooting directly into the sunlight as it will darken the photo overall. If you are using a flash, make sure that your child is not too close to a background that may cast a shadow.

Setting: What says “back to school” better than a yellow school bus? Choose a background that will visually tell the story of the special occasion.

Framing: Try different angles – close-ups, mid-range, long-range – to add visual appeal. Try some photos in landscape mode, some in portrait, and maybe some that are even off-center. You can add some depth by framing a photo with an interesting foreground or background.

Capture the moment: Going back to school touches on a variety of emotions: excitement, nervousness or maybe even a little reluctance. Convey the day’s true feelings with natural expressions and poses through candid photos. Catch your children as they are getting ready for their first day, as they are awaiting the school bus, or as they are waving good-bye. Candid shots that show true emotions will capture the spirit of the day and tell a better story than posed shots.

Share it: The first day of school is a special time for parents and children, so why not share it with us?


From the free encyclopedia

selfie is a type of self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera orcamera phone. In August 2013, the term selfie also made its debut in Oxford Dictionaries Online’s quarterly update where it is defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”[1]Selfies are often associated with social networking and photo sharing services such as Twitter,FacebookInstagram, and Snapchat where they are commonly posted or sent. They are often casual, are typically taken either with a camera held at arm’s length or in a mirror, and typically include either only the photographer, or the photographer and as many people as can be in focus. Selfies taken that involve multiple people are known as “group selfies”. In August 2013 the Guardian produced a film series titled Thinkfluencer[2] exploring selfie exposure in the UK. Selfies have existed in a less persistent form roughly since the debut of the portable Kodak Brownie box camera in 1900. The method was usually by mirror and stabilizing the camera either on a nearby object or on a tripod while adjusting the focus via a viewfinder at the top of the box.[3] Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna at the age of 13 was one of the first teenagers to take her own picture using a mirror to send to a friend in 1914. In the letter that accompanied the photograph, she wrote, “I took this picture of myself looking at the mirror. It was very hard as my hands were trembling.”[4]

In the Korean entertainment industry the word selca (short for “self camera”) is used to describe photos taken of oneself.[5][6]


The term “selfie” was discussed by photographer Jim Krause in 2005,[8] although photos in the selfie genre predate the widespread use of the term. In the early 2000s, before Facebook became the dominant online social network, self-taken photographs were particularly common on MySpace. However, writer Kate Losse recounts that between 2006 and 2009 (when Facebook became more popular than MySpace), the “MySpace pic” (typically “an amateurish, flash-blinded self-portrait, often taken in front of a bathroom mirror”) became an indication of bad taste for users of the newer Facebook social network. Early Facebook portraits, in contrast, were usually well-focused and more formal, taken by others from distance. According to Losse, improvements in technology—especially the front-facing camera introduced in the iPhone 4(2010) and mobile photo apps such as Instagram—led to the resurgence of selfies in the early 2010s.[7]

Initially popular with young people, selfies have become popular among adults as well.[9][10] In December 2012, Time magazine noted that selfie was among its the “top 10 buzzwords” of 2012; although selfies had existed for years, it was in 2012 that the term “really hit the big time”.[11] According to a 2013 survey, two-thirds of Australian women age 18-35 take selfies—the most common purpose for which is posting on Facebook.[10] A poll commissioned by smartphone and camera maker Samsung found that selfies make of 30% of the photos taken by people aged 18–24.[12]

By 2013, the word “selfie” had become commonplace enough to be monitored for inclusion in the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary.[13]


The appeal of selfies comes from how easy they are to create and share, and the control they give self-photographers over how they present themselves. Many selfies are intended to present a flattering image of the person, especially to friends whom the photographer expects to be supportive.[9][10] However, a 2013 study of Facebook users found that posting photos of oneself correlates with lower levels of social support from and intimacy with Facebook friends (except for those marked as Close Friends);[14] The lead author of the study suggests that “those who frequently post photographs on Facebook risk damaging real-life relationships.”[15] The photo messaging application Snapchat is also largely used to send selfies. Some users of Snapchat choose to send intentionally-unattractive selfies to their friends for comedic purposes.

Posting intentionally unattractive selfies has also become common in the early 2010s—in part for their humor value, but in some cases also to explore issues of body image or as a reaction against the perceived narcissism or over-sexualization of typical selfies.[16]

Gender roles, sexuality, and privacy

Selfies are particularly popular among girls and young women. Sociologist Ben Agger describes the trend of selfies as “the male gaze gone viral“, and sociologist and women’s studies professor Gail Dines links it to the rise of porn culture and the idea that “there’s only one way to visibility, and that’s fuckability.”[17] Writer Andrew Keen has pointed out that while selfies are often intended to give the photographer control over how their image is presented, posting images publicly or sharing them with others who do so may have the opposite effect—dramatically so in the case of revenge porn, where ex-lovers post sexually explicit photographs or nude selfies (sexting photos) to exact revenge or humiliate their former lovers.[17] Copyright law may be effective in forcing the removal of private selfies from public that were forwarded to another person.[18]

In modern art[edit source | editbeta]

In 2013 artist Patrick Specchio and the Museum of Modern Art presented an exhibit called Art in Translation: Selfie, The 20/20 Experience, in which viewers use a provided digital camera to take photographs of themselves in a large mirror


Selfies 101: A how-to guide

For some, selfie taking comes naturally. For everyone else, the experts interviewed for this story _ tweens, teens and a couple of honest adults _ offer some tips.

1. Hold steady

“If the first one is blurry, retake it,” said Alec , 11. Even a photo of a goofy face should be in focus. If you can’t hold steady, maybe ask a friend to take the snapshot. (Yes, a selfie technically is a picture you take yourself, but there seems to be some rule-bending among the younger set. If you post a picture of yourself that you’ve purposely posed, it counts.)

2. Try, but not too hard

“You’ve got to make sure it looks good,” said Sarah , 13. But not too good. And no fishing for compliments, a la “Look how cute I am today!” That’s tacky.

“You can fall into a trap of oversharing things that are meant to make yourself look good,” said Greg, who prefers silly in-the-moment snapshots.

3. Mix it up

No duckface every time. “A lot of people joke and say if you look good in a Snapchat, you’re doing it wrong,” said Yusra, 16. “The uglier the Snapchat the stronger the friendship.”

4. Keep it appropriate

“Make sure it’s OK if the whole world saw it,” said Kelly, 13. Nothing ever really goes away on the Internet.

5. Amateur mistakes

Other signs of selfie amateurs? Arms in the photo. “My dad takes them with arms in them all the time,” said Emma, 20. But that’s OK. It’s about expressing yourself. “You do you. You own it,” Murad said. “Give it your all and I’ll probably ‘like’ your photo if it shows up in my feed.”

Image Editing


The objective of this article is to help you understand the steps that can be taken to enhance
an image prior to printing. The steps are:

1. Cropping & Resizing
2. Applying Layers
3. Image Cleaning
4. Colour & Contrast Correction
5. Sharpening
Capturing the Image

Prior to taking any of the above steps it is first necessary to capture the image. If you are
using a digital camera this is an automatic process. If you are shooting using conventional
film you will need to scan the transparency with a suitable scanner.

With a digital camera it is a good idea to capture the image using the higher resolution
settings as this allows you the freedom to reduce the size of the image as required.
Attempting to scale up an image is far more difficult and subject to a number of limitation.
Another tip is to capture your images as RAW files wherever possible. Many camera
manufacturers provide software that will enable you to manipulate RAW images as if you
were changing the camera settings e.g. applying compensation control and so allowing
correction of mistakes made when taking the picture. The resulting images can then be
exported to TIFF files for possible enhancement and printing. I would recommend avoiding
the use of JPG format for serious work as information is lost through the files compression

Whilst the basic operation of scanners is relatively easy you would do well to understanding
their advanced features to achieve top quality results. One of the downsides to capturing
images with scanners is that you also tend to capture dust and hairs that might be on the film.
This can be corrected but takes a little time and effort. It is therefore always wise to clean any
images with compressed air immediately before scanning.

Having captured your image digitally you can progress to preparing it for printing. The
following sections refer to tools found in Photoshop 7 however similar tools and correction can
be found in Photoshop Elements as well as many other image editing software packages.

Cropping & Resizing

The first step is to crop the image to improve the composition and focus the attention on the
reason you took the shot in the first place. It’s often difficult to compose the shot you have in
mind in the confines of the camera’s viewfinder and cropping out unwanted distractions or
space can help create a more pleasing image.
The screen shot above illustrates the crop tool in use. Having selected the crop tool (third
icon down on the left side of the toolbar), hold down the mouse button whilst dragging out a
square with the mouse. This will cause an area of the image to be selected whilst the rest of
image is shaded. Having selected an area of the image you can use the drag handles at the
sides or corners of the selection to change its dimensions. It’s also possible to rotate the
selected area by holding the mouse to the side of the image and the clicking and dragging.

Having composed your image by selecting the area you want to keep, double click on it and
the image will be cropped. If you think that you have made a mistake you can use Edit|Undo
menu option. I would however suggest that you get into the habit of working on copies of
images as you never know when you won’t be able to undo a change.

In addition to cropping
an image you need to
know how it can be
resized. This can be
done using the
“Image|Image size…”
menu option. This will
cause “Image Size”
dialog to be displayed.
When resizing an image
it is always easier to
reduce the size rather
than increase it. This is
because the software
has to “guess” at how to
create image information
that is not present in the
original. In practice you
can scale an image up in
size but the larger you
get the lower the quality.
Robin Whalley 2004
You should also ensure the “Resample Image” option is checked and use “Bicubic”
resampling, as this tends to produce the best results. One final tip is watch out for the
“Constrain Proportions” option being unchecked as in the above example. This allows you to
set the height and width of the image independently, stretching your image in one direction or
the other and breaking its proportions.


Having cropped and resized the image you are almost ready to start making adjustments. A
tip here is to work on a copy of the image and not the original. This is easily achieved using
the Layers feature available in most software packages.

To create a new layer in Photoshop use the “Layers|Duplicate layers…” menu option. This
will create a new layer from your image allowing you to work on the layer whilst retaining the
original image unchanged. One slight drawback to using layers is that you will need to save
the file in a format that supports layers such as Photoshop and this will increase the file size.
Once you are satisfied with your image you can discard any unused layers and “flatten” the
image so that the layers are merged together.

If you are wondering what layers are, you can think of each layer as being like a page in a
book. You can turn to a certain page (or layer) and then edit it without affecting the rest of the
book. When you are working with layers it is helpful to display the Layers window as shown
The layers window can be selected from the menu using “Window|Layers”. Once displayed
select the layer you want to work on by clicking it with the mouse. This causes a small
paintbrush icon to appear to the left of the layer in the dialog.

You might also notice an eye icon next to each layer. This shows whether the layer is
currently visible or not. If you want to hide a layer click on the eye icon so that it disappears.
Click again and the layer is made visible again. In case you were wondering why you would
want to make some layers invisible its because not all layers cover the entire image and some
have areas of transparency allowing the images below to show through. An example is
applying a layer of text to the image. Only the text on the text layer would be visible and you
would be able to see the image below the text layer. You could then simply hide the text
layer. This can be a really useful feature when producing images and graphics for the

Layers are also a great way to make adjustments to an image. If you create a new
adjustment layer you can hide the layer very quickly to compare the effect with the original
image or with a number of other adjustments. Only once you are happy can you merge the
selected layers to create the final image.

Image Cleaning

As mentioned previously methods of digitally capturing images also have a tendency to
capture dust, hairs and film scratches. The less you have to clean up the image the less
damage you will do and the better your results. Some cleaning is however highly likely and
possibly inevitable with some methods of capture.

Before you can clean the image you need to enlarge it on the screen to at least 100% as
shown here.
Enlarging to 100% (or 200% if you want to be really careful) will enable you to see where the
imperfections are and then correct them. You can enlarge the image in a number of ways
however I favour using the magnifying glass on the toolbar as it allows you to zoom in and out
of selected areas.

Having enlarged the image you will need to work your way across or down the image in strips
ensuring complete coverage. Use the scrollbars to move the image slowly and watch for the
dust, hairs or scratches passing by. Once you have spotted a problem area you will need to
correct it using either the Clone Tool or Healing Brush Tool.

If you are familiar with filters you might be wondering why I have not suggested using the
“Dust & Scratches…” filter. This is because the filter is indiscriminate in its effect. If your
image has a lot of fine detail it can become very blurred or lost completely. It’s probably worth
doing this with a test layer if you really must use this filter but there are much better was.
The Clone Tool is the fifth icon down on the left size of the Photoshop toolbar and looks like a
rubber stamp. It enables you to copy a small area of an image and then stamp it or clone it
over another area. This can be useful to completely hide damaged areas of an image
replacing it with similar detail from another area of the image. For example if you found a hair
on the sky you could select a piece of the sky slightly to one side of the hair, copy it and then
clone it over the hair to hide it.

To use the clone tool select it from the toolbar. You can then set the brush shape and size
(area that you will affect/copy) from the toolbar just below the menu. Holding down the Alt
key on your keyboard you will notice that the mouse pointer changes, probably to a target
with a cross hair. This shows you the area that you will be copying with the tool. To select an
area to copy place the target over it and then click with the mouse. Release the Alt key and
the mouse pointer will change to a circle. Your brush is now loaded with image pixels that
you can paint over another area of the image by clicking on it.

Once you have clicked the mouse to paint on the image you also set a relationship between
the copy area and the paint area. If you move to another part of the image and click the
mouse again you will find that it does not paint the same area that you previously selected.
This time it will copy from the area relative to where you are. If you copy from an area 50
pixels to your left then wherever you paint on the image you will always be copying from the
point 50 pixels to the left of your current position. You therefore need to take care when using
this tool and continually reset your selection area. With a little practice this can be a great tool
for fixing damage and with some effort, removing unwanted people, cars, branches etc from
your pictures.

The Healing Brush is very similar to the Clone Tool in the way that you use it. It can be found
as the fourth icon down on the left in the toolbar and looks like a plaster. It works differently to
the Clone tool in that it copies an area over another area but then blends to the two together
to hide problems. For simple dust and scratch removal it can be much more effective than
the Clone tool however it does have a limitation that you need to be aware of. Where you
have sharp edges or contrasting colours it will make these blurred and look as if the image is
smudged. In such instances it is probably better to use the Clone tool.

Overall, you will have much more success learning to use these tools that relying on any dust

Colour & Contrast Correction

Before attempting to make any correction to an images colour you should ensure the contrast
is correctly set. Poor contrast can make an image appear washed out or too dark. The
natural reaction of most people is to adjust the colour, often with poor results.

As you might expect Photoshop provides a number of tools with which Contrast can be
adjusted and you are likely to see the same or similar tools in other image editing software.
Such tools include a rather crude but effective Contrast slider, Curves and Levels. The
illustration below shows how the “Levels” dialog in Photoshop can be used to correct a low
contrast image. Notice how the histogram does not extend fully to the triangles at either end
of the scale. At the left end of the
scale the black triangle represents
the black point i.e. where a colour
appears as pure black. At the
opposite end is a white triangle
representing the amount of white.
In the centre of the histogram is a
grey triangle representing the grey
point of the image also referred to
as the mid tone. The histogram
shows the amount of each shade
present in the image. In this
instance as the histogram does
not extend to the triangles the


image contains no pure black or white areas. It is therefore said to be low in contrast.

The first task is to set better black and white points for the image so that both black and white
can be seen. To do this open the levels dialog for your image (Image|Adjustments|Levels…
in the Photoshop menu) and then slide the triangles in towards the middle so that the
histogram extends to each side. Once you have done this you can move the mid tone
triangle left or right to adjust how bright the image appears. Once you have created the
required contrast click OK to make the adjustment. If you return to the levels dialog you will
notice that the histogram is now spread across the entire scale.

Another very effective method of using the levels dialog is to make use of the three
eyedropper tools seen in the bottom right of the dialog. The left eyedropper sets the black
point for the image, the right tool set the white point and the middle one sets the grey or mid
tone. Click on the black point eyedropper to select it and then find a point on your image that
you would like to appear as black, clicking on it. Repeat this using the white point eyedropper
to select the images white point. You can also set the grey point using the centre tool but this
is quite tricky with colour images (where a colour shift can occur). I find it best used with black
and white shots.

Shown below are the before and after comparisons for the image.
I am sure you will agree there is a substantial improvement with the image on the right. The
only adjustment was made using
the Levels dialog to set the black
and white point but this has also
improved the tone of the colour
so that it looks far more realistic.
Had I attempted to adjust the
colour the image would not be
as successful.

The next problem that needs to
be tackled is that the image has
a slight colour cast to it. This
could have been caused by the clouds making the light appear cold however the original image was shot using an 81C filter

to counteract this and the problem might be down to the digital capture method. Using the
Colour Balance dialog (select Image|Adjustment|Color Balance… from the Photoshop menu)
shown on the left it is possible to adjust the level of a given colour in the image. Here the
level of blue has been reduced whilst red has been increased. It is possible to make such
adjustment to the Shadows, Midtones and Highlights of the image separately to achieve the
balance that you want.

Shown to the left is the finished image having
had both its contract and colour balance

Image Focus

The final step before printing your finished
image is to work on the images focus. This is
necessary as virtually all methods of digitally
capturing images will soften the image
causing it to lose focus slightly. To correct
this we use a process known as sharpening.

Photoshop provides a number of tools or
filters to help you sharpen an image. A
common mistake is to go directly for the
“Sharpen” filter or even “Sharpen More”. The
best filter is the “Unsharp Mask” as this
provides the greatest level of control over
how the process will affect the image.

Before using the unsharp mask it is a good
idea to zoom in to 100% on an area of your
image containing a lot of detail such as the
branches of a tree. This will help you judge
when the image achieves its best focus and
ensure you do not apply too much sharpening.
Select the unsharp mask using the
“Filters|Sharpen|Unsharp Mask” menu option in
Photoshop. This will cause the dialog shown here
to be displayed. Having the Preview option
checked will enable you to see the results of your
changes on the picture immediately rather than
having to rely on the small image displayed in the
dialog box.

The threshold setting determines how many pixels
in the image are sharpened. Setting too low a
value here can result in the introduction of noise to
an image and so reduce its quality. I personally
tend to use values of between 4 and 20 depending
on the image.

The Radius setting determines the size of the
sharpening effect i.e. how many pixels surround a
given pixels will be affected by the change. The
lower the value the less the effect. If however you
set too high a value you will cause the image to
lose detail. A value of between 1 and 2 is a good starting point.

Finally you can use the Amount slider to adjust the strength of the effect. Values of between
100% and 200% are usually good starting points.

My personal preference for using this filter is to set a Threshold value in the range of 4 to 20.
I then set the radius of between 1.5 and 3. Finally I set the amount to around 100%. I then
adjust each of the settings in turn until I achieve the desired effect. This becomes much
easier with practice. Another equally effective approach is to set the Amount value at around
150% and then adjust the other settings. All this takes practice but the results are well worth
the effort.

Shown below are two areas of an image magnified to 100%. The image on the left has not
been sharpened but the image on the right has been.
Having made all the necessary adjustments you are ready to make your print.



Adding a vignette to an image is an effective and easily achieved creative effect. The
vignette works by darkening the edges of the image but leaving the central area of
the image unchanged. As the eyes are drawn to the lighter areas of the image, the
effect helps to keep the viewers attention on the centre of the image. It doesn’t work
with every image however the effect can be very appealing when used selectively.

Here are the steps to adding a vignette in Photoshop.

Step 1 – Selecting your image

Select the image to which you will add the vignette and open it in Photoshop. Here I
have selected a typical mountain landscape view from the Lake District. With this
type of image it is very easy for the viewers’ eye to wander out of the edge of the
frame as it follows the line of the mountains. It is therefore a good candidate for the
vignette treatment.
Step 2 – Select the area for the vignette

For this example I will use the Elliptical Marque tool from the tools pallet to select the
centre of the image.
Another alternative is to use the Rectangular Marquee which tends to work well with
architectural images.

Here is how my image appears once I have made the selection.
Step 3 – Refine the selection

Having made the selection we need to refine it by feathering the edge. This is what
blends the vignette effect into the image and is essential if the effect is to work. This
is difficult to achieve so we will switch to the Quick Mask mode. The Quick Mask is
found towards the bottom of the Tools Pallet and appears as a square with a circle
inside it.
Having switch to the Quick Mask mode you should see the area of the vignette much
more clearly as shown below.
Now there are a number of ways to refine the edges but the one demonstrated here
will work with even very old versions of Photoshop.
First switch off the Quick Mask mode by clicking the icon in the tools panel again.
Next select “Select | Modify | Feather…” from the menu. When the dialog appears
enter a value of somewhere between 50 and 250 pixels. The value depends on the
dimension of the image with larger images requiring a higher Feather value. You can
now switch back to the Quick Mask mode to evaluate the effect. Here is the result on
my image of a 250 pixels feather.
Step 4 – Add a Curves Layer

Once you are happy with the level of feathering in your image (you can repeat the
Feather step above if you need to) switch off the Quick Mask mode. Next add a new
Curves Layer by selecting “Layers | New Adjustment Layer | Curves…” from the
menu. When the dialog is displayed name the layer “Vignette” and set the blending
mode to “Multiply”.
When you click OK a new curves layer will be added to the image. This will cause the
image to appear as below.
Step 5 – Invert the Curves Layer Mask

In the Layers window you should see the new Curves layer and you should notice
that it has a layer mask attached to it as shown here.
This is actually the reverse of what we require so we need to invert the layer mask.
To do this press “Ctrl – I” on the keyboard and the mask will invert. This will cause
the edges of the image to darken. The final result is shown below.

Additional information

You can add multiple Vignette layers as described above to build up darker vignettes
and also blend them with your image seamlessly. When you have added a vignette,
its worth adjusting the layers Opacity setting in the layers pallet to blend the effect
and make it more natural. I have left the final example above unchanged to help you
see the result better. Its also possible to open the curves adjustment layer by double
clicking on it and then use this to darken the vignette further.

Good luck and remember not to use this technique sparingly.



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