Photo editing: Fade to black edges

Yesterday, Tearese asked me how to fade the edges of a photo to black.

And my incredibly helpful answer was: “Um….. I forgot.”

I did know how when I took these pictures a few months ago…..

PICT0169 black, eyes, contrast, saturation

(Awwww, hi little 5-months-old Bubbers man! Wow, you look so young and small to me. I love your cute eyebrows all crinkled up!)

PICT0175 border, eyes, saturation, contrast

But then I forgot about it until Tearese asked–so I’m really glad she did!

(Not to mention it gave me a great excuse to call my Prince Charming at work over 52 times in a row so he could walk me through it again. Thanks, Tearese! And thanks, Love!)

So, here are the steps in Macromedia Fireworks (oh golly, I called it Firefox again and had to rewrite it–I’m so hopeless!)…..


Let’s start with this “straight out of the camera” shot I took earlier this month.


First, you open it in Macromedia FireWORKS (and hopefully this will translate to Photoshop…).

Inner Glow

Then you go down to the bottom and click Effects >> Shadow and Glow >> Inner Glow.

Inner Glow 2

The Inner Glow is added and a little box appears down below where you alter the settings of the Inner Glow.

There are four settings: Width, Opacity, Softness and Halo Offset.

I happen to like my Inner Glow really thick and dark, so I crank up the Width, Opacity and Softness as high as they’ll go.

But! If you like a more subtle look, feel free to keep them lower.

[Oh and I keep the Halo Offset to zero because I like the black all the way to the edge. But you can mess around with it and see if you like it different.]

PICT0261 smaller brightness, contrast, hue, saturation

Then I cropped it a little and increased the Hue, Saturation and Contrast to give it a little more umph!

PICT0261 smaller sepia, brightened, contrast

Then I thought it might look nice in Sepia, so I went back to the original picture and made it Sepia.

After that I changed the Contrast and Brightness until I liked it.

PICT0261 smaller brightness, contrast, hue, saturation PICT0261 smaller sepia, brightened, contrast
So what do you think?

Which one do you like better?

(For some reason this shot totally reminds me of Anne of Green Gables and makes my little romantic heart sigh with deep contentment!)


So, there you have it!

This was different than the way Pioneer Woman taught it, so I hope it was helpful and an option that’s available in Photoshop.

But if not, I hope Bubbers’ drool gave you something to smile about and you have a wonderful Tuesday! :)

This entry was posted in Photography, Sir Brother (formerly The Bubbers King) by Heidi. Bookmark the permalink.

About Heidi

Hello! My name is Heidi. I went to college and got a couple degrees. Then I worked as a Speech-language Pathologist for two years until Bubbers came along. While I loved my job and working with kids, I love my job as a mom best. I started a blog because I love to write. I’ve written stories my whole life. Deep down inside my heart, I secretly dream to be published in paper someday. Until then, I’m publishing for y’all and hope you enjoy it! Here are a few of my latest posts...

11 thoughts on “Photo editing: Fade to black edges

  1. heidi
    have a question for you… isabelle is going to be turning 2 the end of march and i want to do some pictures of her and keoki and was wondering if you wouldn’t mind doing them? you do such a great job and i totally trust you. let me know!

  2. Ailene: Wow, you really think so? I hadn’t even considered that… I’m glad you liked it!
    Charlotte: Oh, you have Fireworks, too?! I was beginning to think I was the only person on earth who had that instead of Photoshop. Do you ever use it to edit pictures? Probably for your digital scrapbooking, huh? And thank you–I’m glad you liked the picture and how-to. :)
    Andrea: Wow–if you only knew how my heart rate shot up about 500 beats per minute and I broke out into a cold sweat from your sweet, flattering request because the thought scares the bejeebers out of me! :)

  3. thanks Heidi! Now if I ever have some time, I’ll have to see how the two programs compare!
    Yeah, it would be scary to try to take someone else’s kids pictures! You could probably do it though.
    I like the sepia tone, I think.

  4. I’ve never tried to edit photos. I don’t think we even have a program for it. The picture reminds me of a pond in Lynnwood that we used to walk around when I was very pregnant with William. Good times!
    I bet you’d do a great job with Andrea’s kids!

  5. So….I couldn’t find anything like that in my photoshop…I know its there somewhere! I did find a way to do a spotlight, so that was kind of cool, but not quite the same!

  6. heidi
    you really would do a good job. i trust you completely! don’t be scared about the thought of people wanting you to take pictures for them it will be ok!

  7. Tearese: Aw, that’s too bad you can’t find it in Photoshop… Did you search for it in the help menu? A spotlight sounds cool–I’ve been wishing I knew how to do that in Fireworks. Maybe I should search for “Spotlight” in Fireworks’ help menu… :)
    Kara: Aw, that sounds lovely! I’ll have to find a pond to walk around the next time I’m pregnant–that sounds so nice! (This pond was quite far away, so it wouldn’t be very convenient to walk around it often–though it would be fun!)
    Andrea: Thank you for your confidence–I appreciate your faith in me. :)

  8. That turned out so pretty Heidi! I think I like the one in Sepia better, but I also like the color contrast in the other one. Beautiful!

  9. Thanks, Alycia! I’m still planning to post other pictures from a fun little outing–thanks again for going with us!

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