Picasa Tip: Use Vignette for that Finishing Touch

Since the good folks at Picasa gave us 2 more tabs of editing features, it takes me longer to fix my pictures because I like to play with them all!  See prior articles on HDRish, Neon, etc.  The last tab is where you’ll find several different framing options, all of which will give your pictures a professional finish.  In this article I want to show you the simplest type of frame, and that is Vignette.  With a single click, you can take away the stark edges of your photo and focus your viewer on the center content.  It simply fades the edges to black … vignette.  Giving it a professional look without a specific frame.  I tend to use it more on simple nature shots since rarely is there anything on the edges of the picture that I care about.

To use Vignette, first double-click on your picture to bring up all the editing tools at the left.  Select the 5th and last tab of tools, and you’ll see Vignette on end of the first row.  Just click it, then click apply to get the basic Vignette feature as shown in image #2 below.

1. Original Photo
Purple berries ... I should know what they are?
2. One click on Vignette
Purple berries ... I should know what they are?
3. Vignette with Max Size and Strength
Purple berries ... I should know what they are?
4. Vignette, with green color
Purple berries ... I should know what they are?

Image # 3 was created by dragging the sliders to the right for size and strength.  And, image #4 clicked on Vignette color and then clicked on a dark portion of the leaf in the picture itself.  That set the vignette color to green.


You can even use Vignette to fade out to white if you want to give your image a dreamy quality, or make it blend into a document’s background.

Buffalo River - Arkansas

And you can use Vignette multiple times.  In the following picture I first added the white Vignette, then a green one.

Buffalo River - Arkansas

Or use a red vignette then a black one on this autumn leaf:

Fall colors!

Ok, you get the idea!  Now go play.

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website.  There are lots of tutorial videos on editing your pictures with Picasa’s tools.  The first 3 are free for all to view.  To see all of them, you need a Geeks On Tour membership.  It’s only $7/mo or $58/yearly.  Join Today!

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Chris is a teacher. Although she comes as close to an expert as possible in many areas of computer usage, she can still remember what it's like not to know these things! That means she can communicate with students in a way that teaches and doesn't demean. She really enjoys teaching one-on-one and for groups of people, but she reaches a worldwide audience with her tutorial videos on the GeeksOnTour.com website. She currently travels the country in an RV with her husband, Jim. As Geeks on Tour, they present computer seminars at RV rallies, computer clubs, and Senior Centers all over the US.

3 thoughts on “Picasa Tip: Use Vignette for that Finishing Touch”

  1. I’ve used vignette a few times, and know that it can be a good tool. I’ve also seen it way over-used, both too heavily and too often. Over-used, it becomes a cliche, so like any other tool, use it sparingly.


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