Remove Chromatic Aberration With Lightroom

January 14, 2013 – tagged as chromatic aberration, lightroom, photography

I was chatting with Karen Yang last week about photography and she mentioned that she uses Photoshop to open each of her photos individually to edit them. As I’m a huge fan of all of the powerful one-or-two-click tweaks in Lightroom, I thought I’d note one here that I fixed over the weekend and hopefully begin to help Karen see the Light … room. :)

The issue I ran into with my photo is called chromatic aberration. It’s a term that simply means not all colors of light had the same focal alignment when captured. Chromatic aberration usually can be seen by colors bleeding out on the edges of subjects in your photos. Check out this shot of me as an example. At first glance this photo seems normal. However, if you look at my face you’ll notice it has an oddly harsh contrast with the light behind it. Zooming in reveals the culprit.

1 large before change
2 zoom before change

The purple-pink glow on the edge of my face is chromatic aberration, specifically purple fringing. In this case it’s probably being caused by that very bright window behind me sending bright light past my face, which is being lit by comparatively dim light from the room (no flash).

3 chromatic aberration slider

In Lightroom, the fix is simple. While in Develop mode, expand the Lens Corrections box, and choose the Color sub-menu. From there, we’re just two clicks away from a clean photo. Simply check the Remove Chromatic Aberration box and set the amount to 5 (or whatever makes the purple color go away).

4 zoom after change
5 large after change

Tada! The photo is much better now. You can play with the other sliders to get the exact desired correction you’re looking for, but I find that most of the time those two steps are all I need. When we zoom back out we’ll find that the harsh contrast between my face and the window is much less with the chromatic aberration removed.

So that’s it. A check box and a slider and we’re done. It’s just one of many ways Lightroom makes quick photo touchups easy.


This article is 4 years old and closed for new comments.

Neil Goodwin • July 10, 2013

I understand this Mark but why do I get a message saying ‘Can’t set the purple or green fringe colour’, which are the aberration colours I’m trying to remove? Is there a solution to this?

Many thanks,