MacPhun has brought a number of new and enhanced features to its Luminar 1.2 ‘Neptune’ update, and the Luminar Vignette Filter is one of them.

This filter has been improved with new Vignette Styles, a Place Center button for off-centre positioning and new Pre- and Post-crop options. Here’s a quick tour:

01 Our start shot

Luminar Vignette filter

This clown sign at a fairground might make a good picture, but there’s a lot of bright and confusing detail in the background. This is a situation where a vignette effect could help draw attention to the main subject and help the composition. We’ll start by selecting Clear from the Workspace menu so that we’re only working with one filter, then click the + Add Filter button to display the list of filters. The Vignette filter is right at the bottom of the list.

02 Vignette Style

Luminar Vignette filter

The Luminar Vignette filter now has a choice of styles: Highlights Priority and Paint Overlay. You can try them both, but there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of difference except that the Highlights Priority effect is stronger. That’s the type I use in Lightroom so I’ll use it here.

03 Vignette settings

Luminar Vignette filter

We’ve gone for a fairly strong Amount setting of -80, reduced the Size value so that the vignette effect closes in on the centre of the picture, pushed the Roundness up to 100, since the clown’s face is round and left the Feather and Inner Brightness at their default settings. But while the overall effect is fine, it’s centred on the middle of the picture, not the face.

04 Place Center

Luminar Vignette filter

This is where the new Place Center button comes into its own. You click the button to make it active (the text changes to orange), then click in the picture where you want the centre of the vignette to be using a small target cursor. We’ll click a little to the right of the clown’s nose…

05 Post-crop vs Pre-crop

Luminar Vignette filter

The vignette effect is now in the right place and the shot is looking much more effective, but let’s say we want to crop this picture to remove a little extraneous background at the left edge. This is where the new Post-crop and Pre-crop settings are important. If you choose the Post-crop mode, the vignette effect will be redrawn to fit the new, cropped version of the photo. That’s fine if you’re using a generic, centred crop effect, but here we’ve already positioned the vignette where we want it and we don’t want it re-drawn – so we need the Pre-crop vignette option instead. This means the vignette is applied pre-crop.

06 Cropping the photo

Luminar Vignette filter

So now we can crop the picture to get rid of some of that background (note the Crop Ratio option at the top – you can choose Free or constrain the crop to the image’s original aspect ratio.

07 The finished image

Luminar Vignette filter

Thanks to the new and improved Luminar Vignette filter we’ve been able to achieve a much better result than we could have before, thanks firstly to the new Place Center option and secondly to the new Pre-crop and Post-crop options which let us crop the photo even after creating and positioning the vignette.