Manipulating Lightroom's Vignette and Grain Effects to Improve Your Photos

While Lightroom’s effects panel only contains two primary options, they each play a significant role in giving your photos a unique style. This video provides a detailed explanation of how to add vignette and grain to a photo.

Vignette and grain are two options you need to consider carefully when developing your style. It seems that with these adjustments, photographers either love them or hate them. If you are one who values these two effects, it is essential that you learn to do them well. In this video from Lucy Martin, she will explain what each slider in the effects panel does and how to properly use them.

For her example, Martin uses a photo that she wants to give a vintage vibe. After color correcting the picture, she turns to the effects panel to create the look she desired. First, Martin applies a vignette, but she goes beyond merely increasing the slider's amount. She uses each option to demonstrate the control that Lightroom gives you and adjusts the shape, midpoint, and feather of the vignette. She then adds grain, while explaining what type of grain to use for different editing styles. Lastly, she takes the image into Photoshop to add a dust filter to bring home the vision she had of a vintage photo.

If you need to learn how to control the vignette and grain of an image to match your style, the video above explains this well.

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16mm Camera's picture

Shoot wide open on some old lenses and you’ll get a natural vignette. Light room is great but it’s taking so much of the photography work out of the camera.

Grain? Shoot some film and scan them...experiment a little with the craft vs cheating everything.

That said Lucy did a good video here so don’t mistake this for blind criticism.

It’s not practical I get it, fixing it in post is just too easy. ;)

chrisrdi's picture

Sometimes i'll slap and ND filter on my lens then jack up the ISO enough to get some decent grain then i shoot Black and white. I do this to practice focusing on subject and story. it werks pretty guhd and is a fun time. you guys might try it. I enjoy doing it from time to time.

Elliot Sander's picture

So just because something can be done easily it means that it's already cheating? And something that is done the hard way is part of the "craft"?

Not everyone has some old lenses that cause "natural" vignetting, nor a film camera that could cause "natural" grain.

Besides, when did vignetting caused by old lenses when shooting wide become "natural"? The photographer still forced it, there's nothing natural about that.

16mm Camera's picture

Not everyone has lightroom either by your logic. I also never speak in absolutes so no, hard doesn't mean craft...craft requires a collection of combined skill points to achieve a goal.

Old lenses are cheap, look into it, film cameras can be bought for $20...there's nothing cheaper in photography now than going back to film and it's fun.

To end your point, vignetting caused by old lenses is a natural optical occurrence when shooting wide open. It's not a characteristic trait that many photographers want. Most people see it as a negative thing and will mark it against a lens if it has heavy vignetting.

It's all natural, you don't want vignetting then stop down PERIOD.

My point with the comment as much as Lucy's stuff is really informative is the greater element of the craft now which is hacks hacks hacks. It's all about the HOW and not the WHY. Why do I want to add film grain, why do I want a vignette.

When you know why you want to achieve a certain look the how is the easy part.

Edit: typo's