I’m sharing a simple tutorial on Photoshop editing using Gradient Map layer and creating a vignette effect. This tutorial is based on the pictures of my Gerbera flowers in my last post. (upon request by a reader)
Please note that I’m using Photoshop CS2 to edit all my pictures, so whatever editing software you’re using, please play around with the layers selection you have which is similiar to PS2.
Open a picture file of your choice and make sure you duplicate a copy of your picture before you start editing it.
As my picture is a little dark, I used Curves to adjust the tone. To do so, go to Layer on top of the menu tab > New Adjustment Layer > Curves. When the Curves graph pops up in a separate window, adjust the curve line until you achieved the tone and color you desire.
Next, go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer >Brightness/Contrast. Drag the slider to adjust the brightness and contrast as you desire.
Choose Level > New Adjustment Layers > Level. Use the glider to preserve a little of the shadow of the picture so the highlights would not be blown out too much.
This is where I’m going to work on the layer that gives me the effect that you saw in my last post. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map. Click OK in the new layer dialog box. You can select the gradient fills from the list. I chose to work on “Foreground to Background” fill. Don’t be afraid to click on other fills to see the effect on your picture.
Next, on the layers box at the bottom right, adjust the Opacity and Fill of the gradient until you achieve your desired preference. I chose Opacity of 25% and Fill of 80% to achieve the effect as shown below.
Before I finish off my editing, I want to add a little vignette to my picture. Vignette will gives you a slightly darkened edges to your photo. Before you work on vignette. make sure you go to your layer box and click on the Background layer or else the selection tool to work on vignette will be greyed out and you can’t work on it.
Choose Filter > Distort > Lens Correction. Then use the slider to adjust the vignette effect you desire. I always balanced up the vignette by adjusting both the “Amount” and “Midpoint” selection. Once you are happy with the darkened edges, click OK.
Resize the picture if you need to post it in your blog or the picture will be huge with all the added layers. After I resize my picture, I would usually save my pictures under “Save for web” as this will significantly reduce the the size of my images.
Here is my picture after the editing.
I hope this tutorial will help you achieve the effect that you want. Please remember that this is the effect that I love. Everyone has different level of expectation of how they want their pictures to turn out. My advice to you is play around with different options, save all of them and choose the one you like most. Or you can keep all of them for future reference.
Have fun with your your editing!