I recently discovered a simple editing trick that I think has helped to clean up the look of my photos. Essentially it’s brightening the edges of your photographs. Now I hope I’ve got this explanation right, but when you photograph with your aperture wide open (as a lot of beauty photographers do) the lens can block the light from the corners of your photos. This results in a vignette effect. A vignette can look gorgeous, but it doesn’t necessarily always work for bright beauty photography. I’ve started editing out this effect using a couple of different methods. Note: this tends to work best on untextured backgrounds.
Method one: Snapseed
If you’re a fan of editing your photos on your phone or tablet you can get the Snapseed App. It has a “selective adjustment mode” that allows you to pinpoint certain areas and brighten them. It’s a useful method, but generally I find it to be more time consuming than using one of the techniques below.
Example image here.
Method two: Photoshop/GIMP/Paint.net etc.
I don’t use Photoshop personally, but I know that it’s incredibly easy to remove a vignette on Photoshop. Go to the “filter” drop down menu, select “distort” and then “lens correction.” There’s a vignette correction there that you can play around with.
If you’re using GIMP (which in case you don’t know is basically a free version of Photoshop – it’s fantastic), there’s another simple fix that works in almost the exact same way. Head to the “filters” drop down menu, select “distorts” and then “lens distortion.” All you have to do is ever so slightly decrease the “edges” slider and amp up the “brighten” slider and the vignette will be removed.
If you’re using something more basic like Paint.net, or you have a photo where it’s difficult to get into the nooks and crannies, there’s another simple fix.
Choose the “colour picker” tool and select a colour from a bright area of your background. Now that you’ve chosen your colour you need to select the “paintbrush” tool. Turn the brush width up to be quite large, turn the hardness of the brush down (so the edges are softened) and turn the opacity of your colour way down. From there you can slowly use the brush to brighten the edges of your photo wherever need be.
Example image here.