Remove Chromatic Aberration – Clone Stamp

Article by Jimmy McIntyre

This concise article is originally from the upcoming HDR Manual ebook that will be available in early 2013. It as an adaptation from the Removing Chromatic Aberration chapter which features 9 ways to reduce or eliminate CA.

Chromatic Aberration, or CA, is characterised by coloured fringes that often line high contrast edges. CA is typically, but not exclusively, red, cyan, purple, or yellow in colour.

There are many ways to reduce or even eradicate CA, but sadly few of these methods are consistent. The quickest and most convenient way to combat CA is to run your images through the lens correction options in Photoshop or Lightroom. Both of these produce mixed results, but will generally reduce the amount of CA in your photos.

Sometimes CA demands a bit more time and patience before you can completely free yourself from it. If you’ve found that other processes haven’t helped, there is a rather time-consuming method that will work 100% of the time – Photoshop’s Clone Stamp set to Color Mode.

How to Remove Chromatic Aberration with Photoshop’s Clone Stamp – Color mode

For this example we’ll be working with the image below:

  • Zoom into an affected area. For this image we are zoomed in 200%. You’ll see that both the left and right edges contain CA.
  • Click on the Clone Stamp Tool on the left panel

  • Choose your brush size – 10 was used here but the smaller the more precise.

  • For sharper edges use a hard brush, but you may use a soft brush at a smaller size.
  • Change the Blend Mode of the brush to Color.
  • Next select the area you wish to clone by putting the cursor over it and pressing Alt+left mouse button. On this example, you can see that the area closest to the CA, running parallel to it, was chosen (green arrow in the image below). By choosing this area, which is at the same height as the affected area, we can run the cursor down the CA without stopping and starting.
  • Now place your cursor over the affected area and begin to slowly run the mouse down that area. The blue arrow in the image below shows where the cursor was placed on the affected area.

  • After you’ve applied the stamp, you may notice that there is a light line going down the outside of the wood (see the below image). This is where the stamp has changed the lighter edges of the purple/blue CA, which now looks like a small white/grey halo.

  • To solve this simply clone the blue sky, exactly as was done on the wood, and run the stamp down the white halo.

Here is the final image without any CA:

By using the clone stamp in Color mode, we have effectively erased any sign of CA, without halos or any other artifacts. This is consistently the best method of dealing with CA, but it is also one of the most time-consuming.

My name is Jimmy McIntyre and I’m the editor of HDR One magazine. I travel for a living, learn languages, take pictures, and generally strive to enjoy every minute of the waking day! You can visit my daily HDR travel blog or subscribe to my updates on facebook – Jimmy McIntyre
  • Bill Fritz

    same method I use. :) Definitely the best method. Worth the time for sure

    • Jimmy

      Thanks Bill. It really is the cleanest way of getting rid of it.


    giving it a go as LR & PS lens corrections not helping, thanks Mr Jim :)

  • Atiqur Sumon

    You do the hard working in this article. I read fully your article the tutorial you post, it’s very helpful photoshop beginner.

  • Kerem Yucel

    There is a better way to correct CA. Duplicate the layer and apply some gaussian blur to new one. Change layer mode to color. Make some practice with adjusting the blur level to reach the best result.

  • Md, Mustakim Hassan

    Very good tutorial.. it’s very help full for beginner.