Lightroom Ultimate Guide – Effects Panel

Lightroom Effects

This short article covers the functionality in the Lightroom Effects Panel. The panel allows you to add vignettes and simulate film grain for aesthetic effect.

Lightroom Effects

Lightroom Effects

The Effects Panel is located towards the very bottom of the Develop Module in the Lightroom ecosystem.

It is split into two sections. One called Post-Crop Vignetting, and the other Grain.

Post Crop Vignetting

Vignetting is a reduction in an image saturation and/or brightness towards the edges of the image, as compared to the centre of the image. In photography, we often use vignetting for aesthetic effect to draw the eye into the image. The vignetting that occurs naturally in-camera, tends to be a little harsh and therefore non-aesthetic, therefore, a trick is to use the Lens Corrections panel and remove the in-lens vignette, and then use Post-Crop Vignetting to add a more aesthetic vignette.


Firstly, you can choose to add either a white or black vignette, by moving the Amount slider respectively right or left from datum. White vignettes have never been one of my personal favourites as they draw the eye out to the edges of a photo instead of into the centre.

However, I guess they work if you are creating an aged print style. Here is an example of an image with both a white and then a black vignette. The effect is purposely at the extremes of then vignette effect, obviously when you apply your own you can make it more subtle.

Lightroom also provides you with creative control over your vignette effect. As soon as you have applied an effect, further sliders are made available to you for fine tuning:

Midpoint: As its name suggests, this slider adjusts how far the vignette intrudes into the image.

Roundness: With this effect you can select a vignette to be more circular or square, as opposed to the default oval.

Feather: This effect changes how hard the vignette appears. i.e. whether you want a feathered effect or a more hard edge.

Highlights: This effect allows you to lighten the vignette effect in the highlight areas of your image.

Film Grain

Film Grain is often referred to as granularity, and dates back to photographic film processing. Historically it was due to the presence of small particles of a metallic silver developed from silver halide during the processing procedure. In digital photography, the effect of Film Grain is sometimes added for aesthetic effect, as digital photos are often perceived to be too clean and/or sterile. It is an effect that is particularly powerful in Black & White photography.


Simply put, Lightroom provides a slider in the Effects Panel to add grain to your images. The slider starts at zero (zero grain), and moving to the right increases the amount of grain in your image.

If you want more control over the effect, you can adjust the size of the particles using the Size slider. Further, you can adjust the roughness of the particles with the roughness slider. Here is an example image with no grain, and then grain particles added.


If you enjoyed this article, then check out more of our Lightroom Ultimate Guide. Here are some articles which may interest you:

Lightroom Transform
Transform Panel

The Transform Panel in Lightroom allows you to correct distortion and perspective effects in your digital images.

Lens Correction
Lightroom Lens Corrections

Lens Corrections is about correcting unwanted distortion, aberrations and vignettes from your digital images.

Lightroom Details
Lightroom Details

The Details Panel in Lightroom allows you to sharpen and de-noise your digital images


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