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Chromatic aberration is a fancy word that relates to a frustrating image cleanup challenge for our images. Specifically, chromatic aberration is really just an issue where certain wavelengths of light are not in focus. Think of it as a certain color of light being out of focus relative to the rest of the image. The result is a haloing of a particular color. Oftentimes magenta, but it can be represented in a variety of colors. You'll generally find chromatic aberration is most prevalent with inexpensive lenses. But also, sometimes with very expensive lenses, especially wider angle lenses, which are bending the light significantly.
Fortunately, chromatic aberration is relatively easy to fix. In fact, if you're capturing in RAW, you can use your RAW Conversion Software. For example, Adobe Camera RAW to adjust for chromatic aberration. But if you didn't correct the chromatic aberration in the RAW Conversion, perhaps, you didn't notice it at that time, you can still fix it in Photoshop with a relatively easy process. This is a destructive process, even though, obviously it's aimed at fixing something about the image, it is altering the overall appearance of the photo. And so, I prefer to work on a copy of the background image layer, 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.
That will create a background copy. I'm going to double-click on the name for that layer, and I'm going to call this CA correction for chromatic aberration correction, just so that I know why that layer is actually there. I'll then choose Filter > Lens Correction from the menu which will bring up the Lens Correction dialog. I don't need the Grid display, so I'll go ahead and turn off the Show Grid option. And then I'll zoom in on the image that I can see an area that exhibits chromatic aberration. You can use the Automatic Adjustment for chromatic aberration, which will apply automatic adjustment based on the specific lens that was used to capture the image. But generally speaking, I find that I need to use the Custom setting, so I'll leave chromatic aberration turned off on the Auto-correction tab and switch to the Custom tab.
Here, you'll see that we have sliders for red cyan, green, magenta, and blue yellow. In some cases, it might be a little bit difficult to figure out exactly which color is at play, and so you can adjust all of these sliders in order to look for the best adjustment possible. And I suggest that you move these sliders through their extremes to get a better sense of the correction in the image. You can see here, for example, the adjustment is obviously causing more of a problem and sliding the red cyan slider to the left creates an improvement. I can then start slowing down the adjustment until I get to the point where I think I've produced a maximum correction.
I think there's still a little it of blue yellow, so I'll switch to the blue yellow slider and I'll once again move the slider back and forth. Over to the left, we can see more of a problem, and over to the right, we see an improvement. And I think right about there, I might take a look at my green magenta. And it looks like, sure enough, there is just a tiny bit of an adjustment needed there. So it's somewhere around there, and you can certainly continue to fine-tune all of the sliders, attempting to minimize or hopefully eliminate all of that color fringing throughout the image. Once you're happy with the result, you can go ahead and click the OK button. And as you can see in the image here, we've done a good job of minimizing that chromatic aberration.
I'll go ahead and turn off my CA Correction layer, and then turn it back on, and you can see, we have a significant improvement to that color fringing in the photo.
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