I’ve seen quite a few photos on Flickr lately that took my fancy for one reason or another, and one of the things that crops up from time to time is the Vignette that comes with some photos. It reminds me of older times and when I used to do a bit in the dark rooms (of Blackburn College, Sheffield Hallam University and the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal). It’s something that can make a bland low-light photo into something with more focal punch, but without the cheesiness of soft focus.
I should point out that it works effectively on landscape shots too, but you could go overkill, and it tends to have happened (with older cameras and darkrooms) naturally in lower light conditions. Whaddya reckon? (Here’s a link to the Photoshop tutorial I used – it’s very straightforward, but the ‘feather’ setting it refers to will need to be increased for higher resolution original photos)