Make great photos using the Vignette tool in Windows 8 Photos


Everyone that has Windows 8 has access to a collection of useful apps that run from the Start screen. One of these is the Photos app and it enables you to browse your photos and view them on the screen, and also to apply special effects to them. In this article we will look at the vignette effect and see how it can be used with your photos.

So what is a vignette? A vignette is basically a fancy border around an image. In the Windows 8 Photos app, it either fades the edges of the image to black or white. This gives them a soft appearance and it draws the eye away from the sharp edges of the photograph and towards the subject matter in the centre.

One example of the way that a vignette can be used is to artificially age photos. Take a look at the top one. A vignette was applied and then the image turned into black and white, all in the Windows 8 Photos app.

Go to the Start screen and click the Photos tile. Use it to browse the folders and photos, and click the one you want to use.

Photos app in Windows 8

This displays a full screen version of the photo and right clicking it displays a menu at the bottom of the screen. In the bottom right corner is the Edit button. Click it.

 Windows 8.1 Photos app

Tools appear on both the left and right side of the screen. We want Effects on the left. Click the button.


Two tools are displayed on the right side of the screen and the top one is Vignette. Click and drag the white circle and the control rotates clockwise and anticlockwise.

 Windows 8 Photos

The value in the middle ranges from -100 to 100 and this is the strength indicator. Negative values make the image brighter at the edges and positive values make it darker.

 Vignette effect

Here you can see that the corners and edges of the photo have been darkened using the Vignette tool. Right click the image to save a copy (never overwrite the original) and you can then edit the photo again by right clicking it. This time you can apply another effect and black and white suits it. Click the bottom thumbnail on the right.

Steam train

Vignette is just one effect and by saving a copy of the photo and re-entering edit mode, you can apply another effect, and another. Multiple effects are not required on every photograph, but sometimes they work well together, as in this example.


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