Remove Chromatic Aberration Lightroom

What is chromatic aberration?

Closeup example chromatic aberration
You can clearly see chromatic aberration or fringing at the edge of the shadow.

Chromatic aberration occurs when the camera lens fails to focus all colors to the same point, as in the photograph below from the Australian Pinnacles. You can see a ghost-like green color fringe at the bottom and a purple color fringe at the top of the shadow’s edge when you look closely at the shadow of the Pinnacles rock formation photo.

This unnatural phenomenon is a chromatic aberration or some photographers call it “color fringing.” We need to remove chromatic aberration Lightroom. The fringe colors can vary between green, purple, red, blue, yellow, and magenta. You will commonly see this “fringing” effect in high contrast areas where dark edges adjacent to the photograph’s bright regions.  

What causes Chromatic Aberration?

Chromatic aberration occurs when the camera lens fails to focus all colors to the same point. Here is a great in-depth article by Photography Life if you are interested in a more technical explanation of the physics behind chromatic aberration.

Color fringing in lenses is a common problem. The optical characteristics of every lens are different. For example, zoom lenses with adjustable aperture tend to exhibit this problem more often. In my case, the fringing occurred in my Nikon 28-300mm f/3 – 5.6 lens. But this is easily correctable in Adobe Lightroom.

Remove Chromatic Aberration Off
You can clearly see chromatic aberration or fringing at the edge of the shadow.

How to automatically correct chromatic aberration in Lightroom

Adobe-Lightroom Preloaded Correct Camera Lens Profile
Lightroom list of preloaded camera lens profiles for manual selection

Chromatic aberration is quite easy to correct in Adobe Lightroom. When you are in the develop module, scroll down, and open the ‘Lens Correction Panel.’ There are two sections in this panel: the ‘Profiles’ section and the more advanced ‘Manual’ section. Adobe will automatically pre-load the profile for all major camera and lens models. If your lens was not selected, you could browse and select it yourself by clicking the right arrow icon, which brings up the supported camera lens manufacturers and models.

If you look at the illustration below, you will see that Adobe Lightroom loaded the correct lens profile for my Nikon 28-300mm f/3 – 5.6 lens. Now you need to click the ‘Remove Chromatic Aberration’ box, and Adobe Lightroom will automatically correct the color fringing.

Remove Chromatic Aberration On
Using the Adobe Lightroom Chromatic Aberration tool, the color fringe is gone.

How to manually correct color fringing in Adobe Lightroom Lens Corrections Manual Palette

Since Adobe has built lens profiles for all major camera manufacturers, it is rare that selecting the automatic chromatic aberration checkbox will not produce optimal results.

Using Lightroom eyedropper tool to select color fringing
Select the eyedropper tool in the lens correction manual pallet and click on the fringes color

You can use the panel’s sliders to manually correct for green and purple fringing, or you can select the eyedropper and click on the offending color in the photograph. Once you choose the purple and green areas, Adobe Lightroom will attempt to correct the color in the edges. Then you can fine-tune the color de-fringing amount and hue using the sliders provided.

Finally, check your photograph by zooming so that you can verify all offending color fringing has is corrected.

Chromatic aberration correct using manual method
The final result using the manual method starting with the eye dropper and then fine tuning with the sliders

You can download the final image from the Pinnacles Geology photograph.