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Burning Down the Edges
Old 07-09-2007, 06:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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It seems that most photographs I see have the edges burned down to some extent. Are there any rules of thumb for burning down the edges or is it more of a trial and error type thing?
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Re: Burning Down the Edges
Old 07-09-2007, 10:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It really depends on the look of the image.
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Re: Burning Down the Edges
Old 07-09-2007, 12:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoAl View Post
It seems that most photographs I see have the edges burned down to some extent. Are there any rules of thumb for burning down the edges or is it more of a trial and error type thing?
I'm not sure what you mean by burning down the edges. You say that most of the photos you see have this to some extent, so maybe I'm missing what you mean by the phrase. Could you elucidate and perhaps post an example?

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Re: Burning Down the Edges
Old 07-09-2007, 04:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Burning in (darkening) the edges of an image is simply one among many old darkroom techniques whose intent is to help send the viewer'e eyes to the center of interest of the image. Like most techniques, it is easy to overdo and frequently is. It's usefulness is totally dependant on the image and is always a judgement call, so there are no 'rules' for its use. However in most cases its use should be very subtle, ideally not really noticeable by the average viewer. If overdone it can have the opposite effect, drawing the viewer to the edges instead of the center of interest.
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Re: Burning Down the Edges
Old 07-09-2007, 04:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug_Lester View Post
Burning in (darkening) the edges of an image is simply one among many old darkroom techniques whose intent is to help send the viewer'e eyes to the center of interest of the image. Like most techniques, it is easy to overdo and frequently is. It's usefulness is totally dependant on the image and is always a judgement call, so there are no 'rules' for its use. However in most cases its use should be very subtle, ideally not really noticeable by the average viewer. If overdone it can have the opposite effect, drawing the viewer to the edges instead of the center of interest.
It seems that what you are talking about is what is call vignetting. I used to to do this in the darkroom myself. I would just give the whole photo a few extra seconds of exposure while using my hands to shield the central portion of the image. I also had some masks that could be used for that effect. Also many lens will naturally cause this vignetting to occur and thus give slightly darker edges. I even had a special lens hood for my RB67 where you could dial in the amount of vignetting you wanted.

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Re: Burning Down the Edges 


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Re: Burning Down the Edges
Old 07-09-2007, 08:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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A quick and dirty method I use when wading through hundreds and thousands of wedding images is this:

Go to Filters > Distort > Lens Correction > Vignette, then slide those sliders to taste!

Play with it, I think you'll like it

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Re: Burning Down the Edges
Old 07-09-2007, 09:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks all for the replies and great ideas! I appreciate it.
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Re: Burning Down the Edges
Old 07-09-2007, 10:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah, in a way, but vignetting is usually a bit different. Vignetting is usually a stronger effect, while what I'm describing is usually much less strong or visible. Edge burning is subtle, it's usually soft and only suggests a bit of darkening. In what seems like two or three lifetimes ago when I was learning darkroom techniques I was taught to almost always add just a bit of exposure to the corners. a slight variation of burning in the edges, but only slightly different. It's purpose was not to 'frame' the center of interest, but to subtly suggest to the eye that it move into the image area instead of outside of the frame. The eye tends to move toward the lighter areas of an image, so this is intended to simply give the eye a hint as to where it should be going.

Here's a sort of example what I'm describing.

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