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How to Avoid or Fix Moiré Patterns

Published: 05/04/2016

MorieRob asks about moiré patterns in his photo to the right:

My RE photography is taking me to some interior design photography and I'm obtaining some moire affect. See the photo to the right.

My gear is a Canon 6D with f 2.8 "L" lens. This particular photo was a two exposure set ambient to catch some light in the back of the room and two flash set-up, camera left and right, behind with some dodge and burn. Also, ISO 320, f/10, 1/10 shutter.

What am I doing wrong? How do I kill moire affect?

There are two approaches to dealing with the moire pattern you are getting:

  1. If you spot it happening on site there are some things you can do to stop or minimize it. See this article for details.
  2. If you don't spot it until you look at it on a larger screen than you have on site there are ways to remove it in Lightroom or Photoshop. With your photo, I tried removing it in Lightroom and couldn't do it. It's probably too strong a pattern but I'm sure it can be removed in Photoshop. Here is the Lightroom approach for removing it and here's the approach to removing it in Photoshop.

Spotting this happening on-site is a good motivation for shooting with a tethered laptop or with a CamRanger running on a large tablet.

Anyone else have advice for Rob?

Larry Lohrman

2 comments on “How to Avoid or Fix Moiré Patterns”

  1. To me, this image looks like it is way over sharpened because of the white outline all over it. This makes the moire even stronger. Was this image from the camera jpg or from a raw file?

  2. Sometimes in certain situations I find that my display can't handle the patterns, thus showing moire; if I zoom to 50-100%, it goes away, and it doesn't print that way (talking about my own work). However, in this case, it's caused by heavy-handed sharpening. There's a lot of aliasing going on too, also enhanced by the over-sharpening.

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