How to Remove Chromatic Aberration From Images in Photoshop

Most of you at some point in time have probably noticed purple, green, or cyan color fringing around the edges of your photographs or chromatic aberration that made your image look blurred or unnaturally colored. As a photographer, you might consider these unwanted color distortions in images as a pain point as they tend to impact the visual appeal of your pictures. However, this doesn’t mean that your photo is now unusable. In this Photoshop tutorial, we show you how to remove chromatic aberration so that you can still save your photographs!

Steps For Chromatic Aberration Removal in Photoshop

Removing chromatic aberration example before and after
Image Courtesy of @jenmcleodphoto

Chromatic aberration is a phenomenon that occurs when light breaks up into its primary constituents leaving abnormal or deviant colors in high contrast areas. Though some expensive lenses do have a coating to avoid chromatic aberrations, other lenses and cameras inherently have this problem.

In Photoshop, you can remove chromatic aberration from images in two ways – automatic and manual. If you choose the automatic method, all you have to do is to go to the menu bar and select Filter, where you will find the Lens Correction Filter. Once you click on it, you will see a change in your image. However, if you are not satisfied with the result, you can go the manual way and follow the steps mentioned below.

10 Steps to Manually Remove Chromatic Aberration in Photoshop

Step 1: Open your selected image in Photoshop.

Step 2: Create a duplicate layer by right-clicking on your Background Layer and choosing the Duplicate Layer option from the list. Now, name this duplicate layer as the Chromatic Aberration Layer. This will make it easy for you to remember and go back to your previous edits when you are done.

Using gaussian blur in Photoshop
Image Courtesy of @jenmcleodphoto

Step 3: With your Chromatic Aberration Layer selected, go to the menu bar and click on the Filter option. Next, select Blur and then Gaussian Blur.

Step 4: In the Gaussian Blur window, set your radius according to the level of chromatic aberration in your image. For example, you can begin with a radius of 5 pixels.

Step 5: At the top of your layer panel, you will find the blend mode menu. It would be set to Normal by default. Change the blending mode of the Chromatic Aberration Layer to Color. This will help you desaturate the layer.

Step 6: Now, to avoid the effect of chromatic aberration removal on the whole image, apply a mask to your Chromatic Aberration Layer. You can do so by clicking Layer, selecting Layer Mask, and then choosing Hide All. This will hide your selected layer.

Step 7: Next, set the foreground color to white, and from the tools panel, pick a soft-edged brush.

Use of layer mask to mask out blur in Photoshop
Image Courtesy of @jenmcleodphoto

Step 8: You will have to choose your brush’s opacity according to the level of chromatic aberration in your image and then paint over the areas where you see color fringing. If you want, you can undo your actions later by setting the foreground color to black. You can also paint over the areas you do not want to be affected by the changes if that’s easier for you to visualize.

Step 9: Once you are done, right-click on the layer mask and click on Apply The Mask.

Step 10: Next, right-click on the Chromatic Aberration Layer and click on Flatten The Image. You will notice, this will remove chromatic aberration from your image.

Suggested Read: Top 15 Photoshop Tricks For Wedding Photography

Tips to Avoid Chromatic Aberration While Shooting

1. Try Avoiding High Contrast Scenes

Infographic stating chromatic aberration can be avoided in camera with these tips

Chromatic aberrations can potentially increase in high-contrast scenarios. This can happen, especially when you are shooting in bright sunlight or against white backgrounds. In this case, you can try shooting against a background that matches your subject’s luminance or wait for favorable lighting conditions.

2. Keep a Check on Your Focal Length

Most zoom lenses at a wide-angle can exhibit aberrations at the shortest and longest extremes of their focal lengths. So choosing a different focal length can help you remove chromatic aberration while shooting, or you switch to a prime lens for better results.

3. Work on Your Aperture & Shutter Speed

Sometimes, stopping down your aperture might help you handle the effects of most lens-related issues, including chromatic aberrations. But you might also have to consider dropping the shutter speed and increasing the ISO to balance for the light loss.

4. Reframe Your Subject

The more you move your subject away from the center, the more chromatic aberrations you might witness. This usually happens because of the curvature of lenses within the lens body. So reframing your subject towards the center might help remove chromatic aberrations.

Suggested Read: How To Reduce Noise In Photoshop

At ShootDotEdit, we love sharing tips and ideas to help you hone your craft and aid your wedding photography business growth. But we also know that it can get difficult for you to balance long hours of image editing and other aspects of your business together, so we offer professional photo editing services to lessen your post-production workload. To learn more about our services, you can check our pricing plans.

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