1. Select the Elliptical Marquee Tool from the Toolbox. On the Options bar at the top, change the Feather to 50 px. (Once you learn this technique, you can change the number of pixels.)
  2. Now position your cursor at the top left of the image, leaving some space. Click, hold down the mouse and drag to the right and down, around the object/subject that you want to keep.
  3. Position your cursor (without clicking) inside the ellipsis and right click. Choose Layer Via Cut.
  4. Look at the Layers palette: you have a new layer. This layer contains the image with a soft vignette.  You can hide the Background Layer by clicking on the eye for that layer or you can delete it by dragging it to the Trash can icon.
  5. You can use the vignetted image like that or you can add a background to make it pop.
  6. In order to add a background, create a New Layer by clicking on the icon next to the Trash can icon or click on Layer, New.
  7. Drag that transparent layer to the bottom of the Layer palette.
  8. Click on the Paint Bucket and select any Foreground Color.
  9. Click anywhere on the image. The empty layer now should be filled with the new color.
  10. You have a background and the photo with vignette at the top of the background layer.

Experiment with the number of feathering pixels and with the background colors. It’s a lot of fun!

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