Become The Expert – Chromatic Aberration

What is Chromatic Aberration?

Chromatic aberration is the presence of what looks like a mysteriously embossed line of color that shouldn’t be in your image. This distortion takes place during the process of shooting and if severe enough it can show in your prints.

Chromatic aberration, also known as “color fringing” or “purple fringing”, is a type of distortion which happens when your camera lens fails to focus all colors in the correct path to meet the same focal plane. For in depth reading on chromatic aberration check out this article from PhotographyLife.com or Wikipedia.

This quick guide will help you remove most small to medium amounts of chromatic aberration using Photoshop. If you have a large amount of chromatic aberration you may need to research a more extensive process of removal. Please be sure to backup your original image before beginning.

How To Remove Chromatic Aberration in Photoshop

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The image I have chosen for this guide shows a very small amount, but this magenta line following the mountains is definitely chromatic aberration.

Step 1: Copy Background Layer

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Step 2: Add Gaussian Blur

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*Radius: 15.0 pixels

step2_a

Step 3: Adjust Layer Option To COLOR

step3

step3_a

Step 4: Preview: ZOOM IN

step4

The chromatic aberration has disappeared but the ‘after’ image looks like it has lost some saturation. The next few steps will show you how to avoid this with masking.

Step 5: Add Masking

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*Invert Mask

step5_a

Step 6: Select Brush Tool

step6

1. Select Brush Tool
2. Select White
3. Start with about 50% on both Opacity and Flow
4. Adjust your brush tool to the size needed and brush over the areas showing chromatic aberration. Increase your brush tool intensity as needed.

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