Colour fringes are one of those annoying artefacts that wont show up on your cameras screen but are gratingly obvious when you bring up the shot on your PC or print it You can reduce their impact substantially in software though

Colour fringes are the curse of digital photography, showing up as blue, red or purple fringes. Our swan picture is prime territory for this. At first glance, reproduced as a small image here it looks fine.

But when the image is printed at 100%, you'll see the fringes at the edges of the neck, and around the droplets of water falling from the swan's beak. Using the Gimp, we can reduce them so they're almost impossible to see.

The basic method is to use the hue/saturation tool. But since the fringes are red and the swan's beak contains a lot of red too, we need to be more sophisticated. First click the lasso tool in the Gimp's tool palette.

Now we need to select the offending area and isolate the parts of the image we don't want to affect Most of the image is blue water, so we've just drawn a big coarse selection around the body and water droplets.

Select Tools | Colour Tools | Hue/Saturation. Since the fringes are red, we'll select the red radio button under Primary Colour to Modify. Now, drag the Saturation slider to zero so that the red fringes become grey.

Hey presto, the horrible fringes have disappeared. And because the swan's beak was isolated from the filtering, the overall apparent colour balance of the shot has been preserved.


It takes some care to get the selection area right, but the basic process needs very little skill.


Five or ten minutes should be plenty.


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