Adding a Vignette in Aperture


The term vignette is used to describe an image whose brightness fades to its periphery from the center. This produces a darkening at the edges of the image. In some cases, vignettes are desirable and they’re applied or enhanced for artistic effect after the image is shot. Fortunately, Aperture provides flexible controls for both removing and adding vignettes to your photos in a nondestructive fashion.

Aperture offers the Vignette adjustment controls to apply an artistic vignette to an image. With these controls you can add vignettes to a photo after it’s shot. This is often done to simulate old-style photographic techniques, such as those used on portraits.


Aperture offers two styles of vignettes: Exposure and Gamma. The Exposure vignette is intended to simulate a lens-created vignette. The other method, the Gamma vignette, intensifies the pixels in the affected area and creates a more pronounced effect.

  1. Select an image in the Browser.
  2. Click the Add Adjustments pop-up menu and choose the Vignette controls. A Gamma vignette with default values is applied.
  3. Choose Exposure from the Type pop-up menu.
  4. Drag the Amount slider all the way to the right. The slider stops at a value of 1.0, but this isn’t the limit for the effect.
  5. Click the right arrow next to the Amount value slider and set the amount of dark shading to 1.7.
  6. Drag the Size slider to the right to set the distance in pixels that will be affected by the darkening vignette. Choose a value of 1.5.

You can use the Lift and Stamp tools to take the vignette from one image and easily apply it to others.