Have you ever had that annoying ‘red eye’ problem with your photos? You’re out at night and take some snaps of your friends. Unfortunately when you look at the photos the next day (or worse, once they are printed) you see a huge red blob in your friends’ eyes.
This is a common problem with all cameras and fortunately because it is so common there is already a quick way to fix it.
But first – what causes Red Eye?
Red Eye is caused by the camera’s flash reflecting off the red retina at the back of our eyes and into the camera’s lens. It is most noticeable at night because the pupils in our eyes are fully open (our eyes adjusting to the low light) which means much more light is reflected.
Because Red Eye only happens because of reflective flash light at night, you can know that that annoying Red Eye problem is going to happen when:
- Your subjects looking directly at the camera
- There is not much light around (ie night shots)
- Using your flash.
So how do we fix it? With the Red Eye Reduction flash of your camera. The symbol for this flash will look something like the symbol on the right.
The Red Eye Reduction flash causes the camera to flash multiple times before taking the shot. This contracts the pupils in our eyes (as they adjust to the brighter light). With smaller pupils, not as much of the flash light reflects back at the camera and we solve the Red Eye problem.
So turn on your camera’s Red Eye flash whenever taking photographs of people looking directly at the camera in low light.
It is also possible to remove Red Eye with software programs. Particularly handy with that one-off shot of long lost cousin Irene. There are a few free programs available to do this on the Internet. My Image Editing Secrets course shows a video for how to do this on day 3.
Another option is to use Picasa. This is a free image manipulation program from Google that does a great job of removing red eye. To download for free, click on the image at right.