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photographer has dealt with this at some point or another. And if a photographer says to you “I’ve never had an issue with Chromatic Aberration”, chances are, they have but they aren’t aware of it! It’s a TINY little issue that photographers run into with intricate details in images. Please don’t ask me to explain what causes chromatic aberration in detail because I already sound nerdy enough just mentioning the name!! (And to be honest, I really don’t know!) What I DO know is that when you’re shooting heavily detailed things, chromatic aberration has the possibility of rearing its’ ugly head!

Sometimes you can never tell it’s there and then other times, you look at an image on your blog and you think “Ewww, there’s a weird green or purple haze in this image!!”.   Chromatic aberration is VERY common in shots that include detailed tree branches in the background, small checkered shirt patterns and heavily detailed jewelry.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not great at understanding EXACTLY how lenses work but I do know this about Chromatic Aberration! :

– It happens often in HIGH CONTRAST situations and when you’re shooting wide open.

– Higher end lenses have less trouble with Chromatic aberration than starter lens but it DOES still exist with nice glass!

– Chromatic Aberration normally happens more often on the edges of the image. Most of the time the center of the image has less of an issue with this.

– Sometimes it is easy to spot and other times is isn’t.  The lower the resolution of an image, the more noticeable it is.  That is why it becomes most noticeable on blogs or on facebook but not when the high res file is open in photoshop or lightroom.

– You can avoid it by not shooting in high contrast situations.  Also, don’t shoot a zoomed out landscape shot at 1.4!  I know shooting wide open seems so cool because of the bokeh, but your image will suffer in other ways if it isn’t properly exposed.

– The “Technical” definition of Chromatic Aberration is this: Chromatic aberration is an optical phenomenon in which the camera lens is unable to focus the different wavelengths of light on the same plane in order to produce a correct image, resulting in a halo or fringe around objects.  This is especially noticeable in high contrast situations and when shooting at wide apertures. It should be noted that color fringes may also be caused by other factors such as lens flare or the camera’s sensitivity to the different wavelengths of light.

So is there a way to FIX this?! YES!! Hooray! There is!

Lightroom has a “Lens Corrections” tab and under that tab you can select “Color”.  Chromatic aberration usually shows up in the form of a green or purple fringe. You can “Defringe” by using the colored “Defringe” sliders.  I’ve included an example below! When I have a whole series of portraits that need some help with this, I’ll sync them all in Lightroom and will fix the chromatic aberration before editing everything else.

So here is BEFORE:

And here is AFTER:

This makes a huge difference in the overall image! If you have NEVER paid attention to this in your images, I have to apologize because it’s going to drive you crazy now! But at least you have a solution!! I hope this was helpful!!

Ps. Don’t judge me, there are definitely some trees with some glowing green branches in my last wedding post so I’m only human and I missed a few edits there:)  See what I mean? Only photogs would notice that but still, it’s there!! :

xoxo, Katelyn
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