Post Production

Remove chromatic aberration with these easy steps using photoshop

A simple photoshop tutorial to remove color fringing from photos

Chromatic aberration or color fringing is often a nightmare for photographers. It is seen as a purple or green or cyan fringe around the edges of the photographs where there is  strong backlight or high contrast region. It occurs when light breaks up into its primary components, thus, leaving aberrant colors in these high contrast regions. It is an inherent problem with some lenses and camera. There are plenty of  techniques available to remove chromatic aberration such as lens correction tool in Photoshop or Lightroom, plugins etc. However, those techniques hardly work on most photographs.

Here is an example of color fringing/chromatic aberration

 

Chromatic aberration example

Steps to remove Chromatic Aberration

Here, I am giving you a step by step Photoshop tutorial on how to fix chromatic aberration using a method I use.

Step 1. Open the image in Photoshop.Open image in photoshop

Step 2.  Duplicate the background layer and name it as ‘Chromatic aberration’

Create chromatic aberration layer

Step 3. While the ‘Chromatic aberration’ layer selected, click on Filter –> Blur –> Gaussian Blur

Apply gaussian blur


Step 4. Set your desired radius. I would recommend you to start with a radius of 15.0 (Selection of radius depends on the level of chromatic aberration)

Selection of blur radius

 Step 5. Change the blending mode of the ‘Chromatic aberration’ layer to ‘Color’. This will desaturate the layer.

Blending in photoshop

 Step 6. Now apply a mask to this layer by clicking Layer –> Layer mask –> hide all. This hides the selected layer — ‘Chromatic aberration’

Apply layer mask in photoshop

Step 7. Now choose a soft edged brush and set the foreground color to white (as shown in the picture)

Selection of brush

Step 8. Choose the brush opacity based on the level of chromatic aberration and carefully paint over the areas of color fringing. You can undo the actions by choosing the foreground color to black.

Opacity slider in photoshop

Step 9. Once you finish the process, right click on the layer mask and click apply mask

Layer masking in photoshop

Step 10. Now, Right click on the ‘Chromatic aberration’ layer and click flatten image.

Chromatic aberration step wise in photoshop

Final result

Chromatic abberration removed

That’s it. This will remove chromatic aberration on your images.

What is your method to remove chromatic aberration? Please share it with us.

 

 

 

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Vidhu Soman

Vidhu is an enthusiastic photographer from Kerala, India. His desire to share his knowledge and experience on photography was the motivation for creating Shutterstoppers. His dream is to provide a platform for people all around the world to exchange ideas and information on everything related to photography. In addition to photography, he also has a keen interest in traveling, philately and science.

11 thoughts on “Remove chromatic aberration with these easy steps using photoshop”

  1. Vidhu, this technique to remove CA is absolutely brilliant. I have been searching for something like this on the net for ages without success.
    Thank you.
    Would appreciate knowing about other tips that you might have regarding post-processing.

  2. Honestly – all this to remove chromatic aberration? FORGET IT! My Canon T4i with the 18-135 STM kit lens has in camera lens correction. It works amazingly well (I’ve never seen CA in my photos). I bought a Tokina 11-16 lens today, and I’ve never seen such severe chromatic aberration on a lens. I am going to return it for exchange or refund (I haven’t decided yet), but I thought I’d look online to see if there was an easy way to remove the CA. The important word is EASY. This isn’t easy.

    1. Like I said, getting chromatic aberration in photos depends on the lens used. Trust me, if you are using some inexpensive lenses, pics will have chromatic aberration. While writing this article, there were no solutions available for removing chromatic aberration from photographs. But, now, Camera RAW and lightroom has defringe brush which easily removes chromatic aberration. The interesting thing is, it does exactly the same as this method does — only difference is that this method is comparatively time consuming.

  3. “Trust me, if you are using some inexpensive lenses, pics will have chromatic aberration.”

    Inexpensive lenses? The best of Canon lenses (“L” or otherwise) too show some significant CA. EF-S 10-22, EF 17-40L, EF 24-105L, EF 70-200 F4 L IS – all show CA to a small or large extent. This is very visible in any decent sized print.

    The only solutions so far –

    1. Shoot raw and use a Canon DPP DLO module (if available) to correct for this. Limited choice of modules.
    2. Use a suitable version of Light Room / or Adobe Camera Raw.
    3. Use a Canon high end body that has CA correction built into it. Not all lenses supported. No adapted lenses supported at all.
    4. Shoot a decent Nikon body with Nikon lenses.

    The technique demonstrated here is actually very simple and gives great control of the correction. Also, unlike the other methods, you don’t need the latest version of the software or the latest camera to implement this solution.

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