We’ve all had it happen… You take a picture and it looks great on the camera preview screen! Then you open the image up to do some post processing work and there are purple edges and strange color blurs. Well, what the heck is that?

What is Chromatic Aberration?

In the photo above you can see purple and teal edges. Find out what that is, what causes it, and how to fix it in this Question of the Week!

Chromatic Aberration Definition

chro·mat·ic ab·er·ra·tion


noun: chromatic aberration
  1. the material effect produced by the refraction of different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation through slightly different angles, resulting in a failure to focus. It causes colored fringes in the images produced by uncorrected lenses.

So, what is Chromatic Aberration in plain speak?

Chromatic aberration is referred to as “color fringing” and sometimes as “purple fringing.” Lens dispersion causes chromatic aberration. This is when different colors of light (think prisms and rainbows) passes through a lens at different speeds. This causes the image to be soft or to have noticeable colored edges. All colors can appear around objects, especially in high-contrast situations.

This is a common optical issue and it happens when your lens is unable to bring all the color wavelengths to the same focal plane. It also happens when different color wavelengths are focused to different spots within the focal plane.

How to Correct

Chromatic aberration happens to the best of us… It happens in high contrast situations when shooting scenery, portraits, or almost anything. Have no fear! This can be corrected! All you need is Topaz Clarity and this helpful tutorial.

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