A vignette, or corner-shading effect, is an age-old technique used to draw attention away from the corners of the frame and towards the center. In standard photography, vignetting could be created in one of several ways:
- Light fall-off: A natural optical phenomenon where light at the edge of the frame is less intense than in the center of the frame, causing darkening. You’ll often see light fall-off when using your lenses at their widest aperture.
- Vignetting: Caused when a filter or other object on the front of the lens protrudes into the frame. This is especially true when placing filters on super-wide lenses.
- Dodging/Burning: In the darkroom, a standard technique was to either darken (burn) or lighten (dodge) the corners of the frame to accentuate the subject.