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How to Add Chromatic Aberration in Photoshop

A few days ago we brought you an express trick in which we saw how we could change the colors of elements of a photograph in Photoshop following a few steps. Today we are going to see “How to add chromatic aberration in photoshop?” Chromatic aberration is an error generally related to the quality of the lens. But it can also arise as a result of lighting with high contrast in which the camera has difficulty processing the information received by each of the color channels (RGB) and is unable to overlap and mix colors properly.

How to Add Chromatic Aberration in Photoshop

This technique uses Gaussian blur, blending modes, and masks to remove chromatic aberration from photos. This technique, together with the lens correction filter, allows you to get the best possible result.

Here are the steps to take.

  • Duplicate the background layer: you can do it with the right button on the layer and choose “duplicate the layer” or using the Photoshop shortcut CTRL + J.
  • Apply Gaussian Blur: Go to Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur. The value to set depends on your photo, for an image about 1500 wide usually a value of 5 pixels is set
  • Go to the ” Color ” blending mode and blend the two layers
  • Use masks on duplicate layers: At this point you will need to remove unwanted changes on the duplicate layer with a simple mask. Make sure the mask thumbnail is selected and select the brush, set black and start painting where there is no chromatic aberration.

Remember, the white areas are the ones where chromatic aberration will be removed and the black ones are the ones that do not interest us.

In photography we detect chromatic aberrations as bands of striking colors that do not correspond to reality. They usually appear with red or bluish colorations and near the edges or lines in which the amount of light changes abruptly. Let’s see how we can correct it.

Lens correction settings

The fastest way to correct chromatic aberrations is to do so through a lens correction filter . To do this we duplicate the background layer by pressing control + J (command + J on Mac) and add a lens correction filter (Filter> Lens correction …).

Then a window opens with the options of this filter. In the menu on the right, just below the “OK” and “Cancel” buttons, we have two tabs, one that says “Automatic correction” and another, the one that we will select, that says “Custom. ”

In the second of the grids you will see that it says “Chromatic aberration” and that three bars appear that we can move to correct the chromatic aberrations of our photographs. Remember that it is convenient to view the photograph one hundred percent for this type of processing.

We normally correct for chromatic aberration by moving the “red / cyan” and “blue / yellow” bars, leaving out the “green / magenta” bar. But this method may not be enough or that when correcting one type of chromatic aberration another appears, so we have another option that is usually more effective.

We create a layer with a Gaussian blur filter

Again, the first thing we have to do is copy the layer by pressing control + J (command + J on Mac) so as not to lose the original image. Then we can apply a Gaussian blur filter (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur) on the copy layer.

A window opens that allows us to select the radius of the blur. For an image of about 12 megapixels a radius of 15 pixels usually works well, although it is convenient that you go testing with your photos to better adjust the size.

We had a photograph with chromatic aberration and now we also blur it, but don’t worry that we solve it in the next step. We select the layer to which we have applied the Gaussian blur filter and in the layer mode we select “Color”, almost at the bottom of the list.

We thus obtain an image very similar to the original, but in which some colors seem to blend. In the next step we will see how to prevent this from happening and also eliminate chromatic aberration.

Adjust the effects with a layer mask

Surely the layer that you have already created that is affected by the Gaussian blur filter does not have a layer mask, so the first thing we have to do is create a mask for that layer . To do this we simply select the layer and at the bottom of the layers window we press the third button (“add layer mask”) which is a gray rectangle with a white circle in the center.

Immediately a white layer mask appears and therefore indicates that the entire layer is active. Black areas in a layer mask indicate the parts of the image that are not affected by the layer that contains the mask.

Since chromatic aberrations are usually limited to small areas of the image, what we will do is invert that layer mask. We click with the mouse on the mask to select it and then we press control + I (command + I on Mac). So that the layer mask turns black and the layer containing the Gaussian blur does not affect the layer below at all.

Now we only have to select the brush (B) and with the white color and the layer mask selected, paint over the areas in which we have detected chromatic aberration. So that the layer containing the Gaussian blur is effective in those areas and thus eliminate chromatic aberration.

We have two options:

  • The first and easiest is to use a lens correction filter and adjust the chromatic aberration correction values for each value, but this method may not fully correct these errors. So we have a second option.
  • The second option is to add a layer with a Gaussian filter in color mode that exclusively affects the areas where we detect chromatic aberration. Adjusting the size of the brush to that of the chromatic aberration band will achieve the best results.

Both options are independent of each other, so we can select the one that seems easiest to us and that offers us the best results. Of course we can also use a combination of both.


Photoshop is an important software for working with photos. You can present photos in a variety of ways using Photoshop. Stay tuned. We always try to present you with informative articles. I will try to present any new information to you in the future. Thank you for reading our article in full. We hope you like it. If you want to know more about “photoshop”, you can let us know by commenting. Thanks.