Tutorial by Ona  (wombat146)

This is just a simple and easy way to create a striking vignette for your photos – using the Starburst shape in Elements! It’s especially effective for those types of photos where you want to add focal interest in a particular spot of your photo. Hope you have some fun with it

Just a side note, I wrote this tutorial awhile ago and was using Elements 10 so be aware that the buttons may now be in a different spot in later versions I have also added the steps for PS in dark blue text where it differs a little bit from Elements (I am using CC2015).

1. First open up your photo in Elements or PS (colour or black and white).

My example shows a photo taken by me of a castle located on the Rhine River when I was on a river cruise way back in 2012.. The lighting was fairly dramatic but I wanted to add some emphasis to the castle itself.


2. Duplicate the Background layer and rename this layer STARBURST.

3. Now click on the Custom Tool Shapes button (or press the letter U). Under Symbols select the Starburst shape. Same for PS with an added bonus of being able to Load different shapes if you want to.
4. Draw a starburst shape over the area you want to highlight or bring into focus (doesn’t matter what fill colour it is).

5. Go to Layers menu and click the Simplify option. Layers and Rasterize for PS.

6. In the Layers Palette CTRL + Click on the shape to select it. (A below) and then go to the Select menu and choose Refine Edge. Use the Feather options and really pump it up to soften the outline of the shape.

7. Now go to the STARBURST layer and use CTRL + X (B below) to cut out the shape (or simply press the Delete button).
starburst layer

8. Hide the shape layer.

9. On the STARBURST layer, change the blend mode to Linear Burn (or you can play around to get different effects with different blend modes)

Linear burn WEB

10. Now go to Filter>Gaussian Blur and move the slider right over to the right hand side until it is slightly blurred.

If you feel there isn’t enough contrast, like I did with mine, duplicate your original layer and play with the levels to brighten it a bit more. All I did then was add a texture to my photo and my finished photo looks like this.


Certainly more dramatic!

Of course you can make it more subtle if you like, it just depends on the type of photo you are using and what type effect you are after!

Hope you have fun and please pop into the challenge I have going using this technique!

As always if you have any questions then please ask them here, more than happy to help!