Landscape photographer and YouTuber Mark Denney recently shared what might be his most controversial photo editing tip yet. In a video titled “The Simple Secret of Creating Dramatic Landscape Photos” he argues that a Vignette—yes, a Vignette—is one of the single most effective ways to improve your landscape photographs.
In the video, Denney covers four different techniques he uses for applying a vignette to his photos, and while the effect can easily be (and often is) overused, Denney believes that it can be quite powerful when done right.
“Out of all the post processing and editing tips and techniques, there’s only one that I use on each and every one of my landscape photos […] the vignette,” writes Denney. “I know vignettes might not seem like the most exciting post processing technique, but when used appropriately it’ll enable you to create a highly focused and dramatic landscape image.”
The four techniques demonstrated in the video are:
- The Vignette Slider – The simplest, but also least versatile way to create a vignette.
- The Radial Filter – This allows you to create a custom circular or oval vignette when your subject isn’t dead center.
- The Graduated Filter – Great for images where your point of interest moves across the frame in a straight line.
- The Adjustment Brush – The most versatile option, this is a little closer to “dodge and burn” than a true vignette.
Denney does a good job of covering each technique in depth, showing you what every setting does, and explaining how he applies Vignettes to his images in order to guide the viewer’s eye through a photo. Sure, calling a vignette a “secret” might be a little much, but there’s definitely something to be learned here.
Check out the full video up top, and then head over to Denney’s YouTube channel if you want to see more of his landscape photography tips and tutorials.