Perfect Selection Edges in Photoshop – Color Decontamination & Defringe

This  extensive video tutorial by portrait photographer Nathaniel Dodson (from the website tutvid) takes a look at the edges of your selections in Photoshop and how you can improve and perfect them using several lesser known tools.

This video covers a very important subject within the (very extensive) topic of selection in Photoshop, and that is color decontamination in refine edge and removing black and white Matte (basically anything that is between your selection and the background that shouldn’t be there). strangely enough the tools that are discussed in this video are things that (as far as we can remember) did not really appear on any of the hundreds of videos we published on the LensVid photo editing section over the years (so kudos to Dodson for that).

In the video Dodson demonstrates several tools that you should really be aware of:

  1. Layer>matting> defringe – this should help with the leftovers around a selection (it isn’t perfect though so be sure to make good selections in the first place).
  2. Layer>matting>Color Decontamination – when you are working with masks this can help to bring in more details from the edges.
  3. Layer>matting>remove white/black matte – when you have white or dark around the edges of your subject choose this option.

As we mentioned this is the first time that we cover these specific tools but they are part of working with selections which is something that we cover here extensively all the time. Just a few days ago we published Dodson last video which talked about “Advanced Hair Selections in Photoshop CC” and this wasn’t the first time Dodson looked into advanced hair selections in Photoshop. We have looked at how to make fine hair selections many times in the past on several different videos aimed at different levels of photographers/image editors –  including “How to Cut Out Complex Hair in Photoshop” with Aaron Nace from Phlearn, Photoshop senior product manager Bryan O’Neil Hughes had a very nice simple guide for beginners entitled “How to Make Fine Hair Selections in Photoshop” while both Jesús Ramirez with “Advanced Hair Selection Tutorial – Masking Hair In Photoshop” and Michael Woloszynowicz with “How To Quickly Remove Stray Hairs in Photoshop” had some more in-depth guides.

You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section. You can also check Dodson’s previous videos here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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