Add a Traditional Border to Black & White Images

In the wet darkroom adding a border was a common effect. This could be either a black edge (often by exposing the edge of the film around the image) or an oval vignette. Both types of borders are easy to create in Photoshop, Elements or Lightroom.

Black border added by increasing the canvas size

In Photoshop and Elements, you can create a thin black border either by selecting the whole image and adding a black stroke or by enlarging the canvas or paper size slightly and filling the new canvas area with black. In Lightroom open the Print module and under the Image Settings panel, turn on the Stroke Border choice to add the black edge.

White vignette added with color fill adjustment layer in Photoshop Elements

With Photoshop and Elements, you can create a vignette in either white or black by making an elliptical selection of the image, inversing the selection so the outer edge is selected, softening (feathering) the selection edge, and then adding a Color Fill adjustment layer in your desired color. In Lightroom's Develop module, under the Effects panel adjust the Post-Crop Vignetting Amount slider to the right for a white vignette or to the left for a black one.

Learn these and other powerful editing techniques to create black and white images you'll be proud of in my Advanced Black & White Photography class. Sessions begin Tuesday, February 13, 2018, at the Lifelong Learning Center in Missoula, Montana. Registration is open either online, in person or by phone.