I want to add either vertical or horizontal black bars to photos in Lightroom. I know I could export to Photoshop and do it there, but I'd prefer to quickly do it in Lightroom. Is this feature built into Lightroom 3 somewhere, or does it require a plugin? If so, what free plugin do you recommend?

Example of what I'm talking about:

Example of what I'm talking about


You can use Lightroom's print module to do this by setting a custom paper size, setting the background to black and overlaying an image.

Mike. (http://www.wolfnowl.com/2010/10/photo-of-the-month-triptychs-and-lightroom/ and http://bit.ly/LRTips)

  • Perhaps I stand corrected. After you've done this, can you then export the resulting "Framed" image?
    – ahockley
    Mar 15 '11 at 16:53

Lightroom does not include a feature natively that would add the pillarbox bars to a photo.

I'm not aware of a plugin but perhaps someone else can chime in if they are...


You can create a Graduated Filter that has a sharp edge such that it's not really graduated. Here's how:

  1. Click the Graduated Filter button in Develop mode.
  2. Drag from the middle of the left edge of the image, toward the center of the image. Hold the Shift key while dragging to make it perfectly vertical.
  3. Set both the Exposure and Brightess to the minimum (left-most) values.
  4. Resize the Graduated Filter by dragging from the right edge of the filter (while the cursor looks like a hand) toward the left until the graduated effect disappears into a sharp transition from black to light.
  5. Adjust the width of the filter until it's the right size.

You can do this by adding a border with the LR/Mogrify plugin:

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