Have Red Eyes In Your Photos?

September 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Photography Tips

Have Red Eyes In Your Photos?

You May Be Asking…Why Do You Have Red Eyes In Flash Photos?  Who hasn’t seen those photographs with the red devil eyes staring back at them?

So why does this happen? This red eye affect is cause when a large amount of light enters the eye. Picture a V shape – this is how light is reflected. It reflect at an angel that is equal with the point of entry of the light coming in. If a bright light enters the eye and there isn’t much angle it’s reflected back, as is the case with many flashes.


Normally you see this in night time photos when you have your flash on. So when the light reflects off the eye’s retina the result is a red eye. This doesn’t just happen to humans, it also effects animals as well.

Some animals have a special layer over there eye call the tapetum lucidum. It acts like mirror on the eye’s back. If a headlight or flashlight is shone into the eyes in the dark of the night, the eyes shine back with a white light.

Humans do not have the tapetum lucidum layer on the retina. So even if you got a light an it hit a human eye at night you would not get a white light shining back. But if you do then you might get a small reflection becuase of the strenght of the light in which your shining. This results in red eye because the blood vessels are nourishing the eyes.

You might have notices that some cameras flash twice? This is because it has red eye reduction. The camera will flash once before the photo is taken and then once when you take the photo. The first flash is to make the pupils smaller becuase the amount of light coming in is allot larger then normal and then the by the time the second flash goes off your eye pupils are small enough not to show to much of the red eye effect. The trick it to reduce the size of your pupil and this can be done by making more light then normal in the room.

Moving the flash away from the lens will also reduce/eliminate red eye in your photographs. On most point and shoot cameras the flash has no adjustment because it is built in and sits about an inch from the lens. As a result the reflection is bounced back to the camera’s lens and this results in red eye on your photos. If you had a professional camera then you would be able to hold the flash a couple of feet from the camera and this would give you a better shot, you might have seen something like this in the 1900′s or at a professional photo taker. Another option is to set your flash to bounce off the ceiling.

If you have a camera with no flash adjustment, most of the digital software packages allow you to correct red eye. Doing this with the software should be a easy process, a couple of clicks and done. Usually it’s just a matter of clicking on the eye and then the correct red eye icon. Just follow the instructions provided with your software.

Many of the newest point and click digital cameras have a setting that reduces red eye. Read your manual to see if your camera has this setting and how to activate from the menu system.

Those devilish red eyes no longer have to be something you contend with on your photographs now that you have some ideas on just how to reduce or eliminate red eye.

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