Photography Tips: Causes of Red-Eye and How to Avoid It

December 20, 2011 Photography, General 0 Comments

Avoid Red Eye in Photos

Have you ever snapped a photo of someone or a group of people and noticed that one or all of the people in the picture had red eyes? Did you ever wonder how this could have happened? The cause of red-eye in photographs has a simple answer, with an even simpler solution.

The Cause of Red-Eye

When a picture is taken using a flash, especially from a compact camera, a strong flash of light is given off with the intention of brightening up an image. The flash can often quickly hit the eye ball, directing the light past the pupil to the blood vessels, which are located behind the eye ball. The bright flash can reflect off of those blood vessels, reversing the light through the pupil. The flash will actually hit the back of an eye, causing the blood vessel to show “red” in the photograph. This process can happen in humans and animals. The amount of red appearing in the photograph will differ from person to person or animal to animal, depending upon how much pigment is present behind the retina.

The Solution to Red-Eye

There are several methods to fixing the red-eye problem. Here are just a few:

  • Retake the photograph and have the subjects look slightly away from the flash to ensure no or minimal red-eye.
  • If you have a camera with an adjustable flash, move the flash so it is not directly facing the person or people you’re photographing.
  • Many cameras have a red-eye reduction setting. This incorporates a series of flashes before the actual picture is taken. Make sure you set your flash to this setting to prevent red-eye.
  • If you can’t retake the picture, most computer photo-editing software has a built-in red-eye remover option, so you can remove the red eye(s) from the image. Common editing programs include Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Picture Manager, Kodak Easyshare and more.
  • Adding more light in a room can also be an advantage to eliminating red-eye. Most professional photographers will create light to perfect an image.

The next time you take a picture using your flash, remember to follow these tips and stay away from red eye!


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