Photoshop – fix Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic Aberration is the bane of digital photographers. It can be seen as a halo or fringe around the edges of an object in a photograph when you photograph it in certain lights – you might see it for example, when you photograph a darker object in front of a bright sky. Some tools like Lightroom have settings that help remove chromatic aberration but sometimes it’s so obvious and so distracting that a bigger fix is required.

In this image, the statue has a very obvious blue edge to it and not even Lightroom could fix this. The solution is to open the image in Photoshop and to fix it there.

Step 1

Step 1

Step 1
Duplicate the background layer by choosing Layer > Duplicate Layer.

Step 2

Step 2

Step 2
For this image, because the problem area is so distinct and the edges are so crisp, the easiest solution is to make a selection of the portion of the image to fix and then apply a fix to it. Using the Quick Selection tool I made a selection of the sky. Save it as a selection using Select > Save Selection and give it a name.

Step 3

Step 3

Step 3
Now enlarge it so the selection covers the problem area. I used Select > Modify > Expand and added enough pixels to select over the problem area. How many pixels will be variable – on a high resolution image you’ll need a bigger value than on a low resolution image. I used 30 pixels on this large image.

Step 4

Step 4

Step 4
Now you need to subtract the first selection you made from this new selection so you end up with just the blue edges selected. To do this, choose Select > Load Selection and select the selection you just saved. Set the Subtract from Selection option and click Ok.

Step 5

Step 5

 

Step 5
You now have the blue area selected so click the Add layer mask icon at the foot of the layer palette to add a mask to this layer. This isolates the blue area in the image.

In this case the simplest way to the problem is to desaturate the top layer so the blue disappears. To do this select the top layer, choose Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation and adjust the Saturation down until the blue goes – you can do this on the Master channel or just the Blue and Magenta channels or wherever you find the color problem is residing.

You could also fix the problem using a Curves adjustment and select the Blue channel and adjust it. The exact fix is going to depend a lot on what image data that is affected by the color halo – you need to remove or desaturate some of the blue but keep as much of the remaining image data intact and correctly colored as you can.

Step 6

Step 6

Step 6
If the edge of the fix is too harsh, you can blur the mask layer by selecting the mask thumbnail and choose Filter > Blur > Gaussian blur.

Categories:

Helen Bradley

I am an expatriate Australian lifestyle writer, videographer and photographer. I write tutorials and produce videos on Photoshop, Lightroom and Illustrator as well as photography, office computer applications and DIY crafts. I have written for most of the big names in consumer tech including PC World, PC […]

Topic Filter: Commercial / Landscape / Portrait / Stock / What's Hot

Interviews

Martin Lawrence

After many years as a keen amateur photographer, I decided to start a small landscape photography business called Lakescenes which I ran alongside my main job as an IT Manager. As business increased, I found myself working long, but rewarding, hours just to keep up […]

Read More

Rob Sheppard

Rob Sheppard is a naturalist, nature photographer and videographer who says his favorite location is the one he is in at any time. He is the author/photographer of over 40 books, as well as a well-known speaker and workshop leader, and a Fellow with the […]

Read More

Gary Hart

Gary Hart has photographed California’s natural beauty for over 30 years. Gary’s photos and writing have appeared in many publications, most recently Outdoor Photographer and Sierra Heritage magazines. You’ll also find his images in greeting cards, postcards, calendars, and many galleries and private collections throughout the world.

Read More

Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz

Originally from Poland, based in London UK, Jaroslav has background in Fine Arts, degree in Architecture, and wide array of experience. Being an Architect taught him how to be resourceful and to solve complex problems with simple, yet innovative solutions. Constant passion for graphic & […]

Read More

What's Hot

Stupid Photoshop tricks #2 – Fold a Photo

I love the texture of old heritage photos, particularly those that have been kicking around for some years and which have managed to accumulate folds and crinkles. While it can take many years for a printed photo to develop this sort of quality, luckily Photoshop […]

Read More

How to Shoot the Olympics

Five of the world’s top Olympic sports photographers talk about what it’s like to shoot the biggest sporting event in the world. Getty Images photographer Streeter Lecka puts it best: “The Olympics are unlike anything you will ever shoot in sports,” he says. “For professional […]

Read More

You Don’t Need the Insane Zoom That Camera Makers Are Shilling

Camera makers are trying everything to revive the tanking market of low-end shooters. Their latest gambit? Insanely long zooming cameras that reach across vast swaths of land. But zoom is just another sweet-sounding spec that could leave you with crappier pictures. Way back in the […]

Read More