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Photoshop - Feathering

"Feathering" (also known as the vignette effect) is where the edges of an image are softened either for effect, inclusion in a collage etc.

1. Open a new image and make sure the "background" is the one you wish to have as the end result (usually either White which can then be filled with any other color or Transparent if collaging onto other images for a smoother, better effect.)

2. Create a new layer and paste the new image into it. (Depending on your setup of Photoshop, pasting often creates a new layer automatically, sometimetimes it doesn't. Whichever, you should only have two layers the bottom one which has the color/transparency you want and the image layer. If another layer sits between these, delete it.)

3. Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool rectangular marquee and, in the Options bar enter a feather value (this will depend on the size of the image, but a standard 7" x 5" print will require around 30 pixels):

Feather options

4. Draw a selection on the image leaving an even "border" around the outside of the selection. When you release the mouse, the corners of the selection will become rounded. Don't worry about this!

feather selection

5. Now go to SELECT...Inverse. Before doing this, the selected area was inside the marching ants, now everything between the marching ants and the outside of the image is selected.

6. Go to EDIT...Cut. This will "cut" the selected area, leaving, in the example below, the Background Color - white, which we chose for the underlying layer.

feathered image