How to Edit Landscape Photo Skies Without Fringing

When you photograph a landscape and overexpose the sky, it will often turn out too bright with overdone highlights. After opening the file to edit it, you may notice that turning down the whites and highlights won’t always fix your problem. By doing that, you are affecting the entire image and will likely have portions that are drastically altered. This video tutorial demonstrates how to solve the problem in Lightroom:

Although a beginning editor may be inclined to saturate the sky with shades of blue, this will inevitably cause fringing in the photo. Fringing is when lines of color appear around objects with mixed pixels. A mixed pixel may share colors such as blue and green. An example of this in the video is the separating line between green grass and a blue sky or water.

remove fringing from landscape with graduated filter

As Tony Northrup demonstrates, if you change the blue luminance for your image, these mixed pixels will fringe and have outlines. Here are some steps you can take to avoid this effect:

  1. Click “Remove Chromatic Aberration” in the Lens Corrections tab.
  2. Create a graduated filter that covers your entire sky down to the horizon line.
  3. Make your adjustments in the filter for exposure, highlights, etc. until your sky appears the way you want it to.
  4. Click “Brush” at the top right of the graduated filter tab.
  5. Alt-Click and hold to access the removal brush.
  6. Adjust the Feather setting to have a large feathering for your brush.
  7. Drag your cursor to remove the effect of the graduated filter on any areas that are overlapped and don’t need the lighting adjustment of the filter.

remove fringing from landscape with graduated filter

Once you’ve edited the sky and cleared any unnecessary adjustments in your image, your landscape should look a lot better! You have successfully avoided fringing in your shot and brought back the color and detail to your sky. Now, you can continue editing to create a clean, natural looking finished piece!

“The picture that you took with your camera is the imagination you want to create with reality.”

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