Photo Editing Tips: Getting Rid of that Annoying Purple Fringing

Using Photoshop CS3 *intermediate Photo: (c) Shalee Cooper 2009

I actually picked up this tip from my good friend Doug Sims a few years ago and it has been really helpful, so thanks Doug!

“Purple fringing” is that annoying colorful glow that you sometimes see in your pictures. Here is a shot of some purple fringing so you can see exactly what it is. I circled the areas we are going to fix… and yes, pruple fringing is not always purple. Sometimes it is blue or pink, etc. You will need to click on this image to see a larger version.

Purple Fringing

Step 1. Always duplicate your layer in photoshop. Keep your original file as the bottom background layer. It is good to flip the visibility on and off of your edited layer so you can see it against the original version. This will help you see exactly what you are doing and will help develop your eye.

Setp 2. Blur the top layer with Gaussian Blur. You don’t want to do this too much or too little, but as you can see in the image to the left, the purple fringing is no longer visible.

Step 3. Set the layer mode to color. The blurred layer will not look as blurred anymore. You don’t want to keep this image as your final image because you have lost some detail around some edges. We are going to use only part of this top layer to get rid of the fringing.

Step 4. I use this technique a lot, so you may be familiar with it from some of my other tutorials. Add a layer mask to your top layer. You will see a white layer box appear next to your image in your layer pallet. It is selected and white by default… when it is white, you can see through it, when it is black it hides the image. So click ctrl i to invert the mask from white to black. Then use your paint brush to paint white over the area’s with fringing.

Here is an example of before and after:

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