Photoshop Image Cleanup Workshop
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Chromatic aberration


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Photoshop Image Cleanup Workshop

with Tim Grey

Video: Chromatic aberration

The term chromatic aberation refers to color halos caused when certain wavelengths of light are focused at a different plane, then the other wavelengths. In other words, all of the light in the image is in focus, except for a small range of color values. And because those specific color values are out of focus, they appear as color fringing, especially along high contrast edges in an image. Fortunately, fixing chromatic aberration is very easy. I'll go ahead and zoom in on the top right corner of the caboose here, and you can see there's a fair amount of chromatic aberration present. Fortunately, this is very easy to fix.

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop Image Cleanup Workshop
2h 24m Intermediate Apr 19, 2011

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No matter how careful you are taking your photos, sometimes things go wrong. You end up with dust spots caused by image sensor contamination, objects that simply couldn't be avoided, or problems with color, exposure, or texture in the image. In this workshop, expert photographer and trainer Tim Grey shows you a wide variety of powerful techniques for solving many common challenges. Learn how to fix everything from simple blemishes and red eye to color contamination, chromatic aberration, and image noise, and discover advanced techniques like using multiple exposures to remove a subject from an image. Note: This course was recorded in Adobe Photoshop CS5, but was created with users of both Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS4 in mind.

Topics include:
  • The ethics of cleanup
  • Reviewing the image
  • Nondestructive cleanup
  • Cleanup tools and techniques
  • Removing strong color casts
  • Gradient adjustments
  • Extending the frame
  • Using multiple exposures to remove subjects from an image
Subjects:
Photography video2brain
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Tim Grey

Chromatic aberration

The term chromatic aberation refers to color halos caused when certain wavelengths of light are focused at a different plane, then the other wavelengths. In other words, all of the light in the image is in focus, except for a small range of color values. And because those specific color values are out of focus, they appear as color fringing, especially along high contrast edges in an image. Fortunately, fixing chromatic aberration is very easy. I'll go ahead and zoom in on the top right corner of the caboose here, and you can see there's a fair amount of chromatic aberration present. Fortunately, this is very easy to fix.

In this case, we'll use the Lens Correction filter to apply our correction. It's also possible, if you captured in raw, to apply this correction in the raw conversion process. But here, I'm working with an image that's already been converted, so I'll apply the adjustment after the fact. I'm going to create a copy of my background image layer so I can work non-destructively. So I'll drag the thumbnail for my background image layer down to the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel. I'll then choose Filter, Lens Correction from the menu in order to bring up the Lens Corrector Filter dialog. I'll zoom in on a portion of the image, in this case the top-right corner of the caboose, where the chromatic aberration is most evident. And I'll make sure that any of my auto correction options are turned off in the Lens Correction dialog, and then I'll switch to the Custom tab. As you can see, I have three sliders available.

I can correct Red Cyan Fringe, Green Magenta Fringe, or Blue Yellow Fringe. It looks like I probably mostly need to concern myself with Green Magenta, although I think Red and Cyan might be an issue as well. And the basic approach here, is to simply adjust the sliders, and observe the effect within the image. We're trying to get those colors to shift, so that they become a complete non-issue. I actually think maybe I'll need to adjust my Blue Yellow just a little bit. That looks better. And let's take a look at the Red Cyan shift.

Sometimes it's easiest to move the slider all the way to the extreme, so that you can get a better sense of the adjustment. In this case, I'll need to move to the right with the Red Cyan adjustment. And that might be a little bit too much, so I'll bring that back. I do need to allow the preview to update, so I'll pause the mouse at any given time while I'm moving the slider left and right. And the point is that I'll continue moving those sliders, adjusting their position, until I can see that the chromatic aberration has been completely eliminated, or at least eliminated as much as possible.

Once I found the settings that seem to work well, I'll go ahead and click OK, and you can see that the chromatic aberration in this image has been significantly reduced. Actually, I'd say pretty much eliminated altogether. Chromatic aberration tends to occur most often with relatively inexpensive lenses, or lenses that are of a particularly short focal length. Fortunately, any time chromatic aberrations appear within an image, it's generally very easy to apply a correction.

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