Remove Red Eye From Your Digital Photos
How to avoid red eyes from the very beginning and
secondly how to get rid of them if it does
The best thing is to avoid the flash to reflect from
the eyes from the very beginning. Red-eye reduction
works by having the flash shine a light into the eyes
of the subject just prior to the flash/shutter event.
This serves to cause the irises in the subject's
eyes to narrow down. The result of this is a smaller
opening into the eye for a camera's eye view of the
blood filled retina. Obviously, this would work only if
the subject is actually looking at the flash for the
pre-light. Children (or so the theory goes) don't
look where you want them to. ( try wedding photography
with small children in the party).
affecting red-eye are the level of ambient light and
how close the flash is to the lens. The brighter the
ambient light, the fewer red-eyes, all other things
being equal. The farther from the flash is from the
lens, the fewer red-eyes, all other things being
equal. There is another very important factor to red eye
- possibly the most important one. You will not get red
eye if the ambient light is fairly high. You will get
it if the room is dark. So maybe you are shooting in
rooms with good lighting.
The best red-eye reduction is
an external flash. The flash needs to be off-axis from
the lens, by "enough". If you used an
internal flash and got reflections from the eye which
caused "Red Eye's" on your photo, how to
get rid of it? If you can include some nearby light, it
may not be enough to warrant switching flash off, but
it may close down your subjects' irises enough to
cure the red eye. This
tutorials might be a good help.
I quote below some comments, I came across, about this subject from
Red-eye is a function of at least three
1. Ambient light level (low level causes
subject's retina to open wider to admit more
light, exposing the iris which is what reflects the
red light.) 2. Age of subject. "The younger
the subject, the wider the retina," hence the
greater the red-eye effect.
3. Reflected angle of the flash as the light is
bounced off the subject back to the camera. The
closer outgoing beam is to the reflected beam, the
greater the red-eye effect. (A flash bracket helps
here to get the flash a bit removed from the
proximity of the lens.)
- The only important thing is the angle between the
flash beam and the lens axis. The rule of thumb
here is designed to keep that angle wide enough
that the flash doesn't reflect off the
subject's retina and right back into your lens.
Film speed does not matter, and zoom position
doesn't matter as long as you can focus on your
subject when you are close enough. How close is
1. Rule of thumb: measure the distance between
centre of lens and centre of flash in INCHES,
multiply that numbers by two. The result is how
many FEET you can be from your subject before
redeye starts to bite you.
2. Example: flash 2.5 inches from lens... stay
within 5 feet of subject's eyes.
Things which matters!
1.Film speed (ASA/ISO) only has a bearing in that
you are less likely to use a flash with faster
2. Red-eye is a reflection of the flash off of
the subject's retina. It is more pronounced in
pale people (blond, blue eyes, or light-red hair).
It is also more pronounced in children.
3. The red-eye reduction mode will cause the
subjects' pupils to contract, which in turn
reduces the amount of red-eye visible. Not all
cameras have this, but those that do should
effectively REDUCE but not eliminate the
4. Not applicable to P&S cameras would be
the solution of moving the flash farther away from
the lens. This works well with external flash
5. However, by moving in closer to the subject
you increase the angle of reflection, and thus
reduce the risk of creating red-eye. One way to
move closer without changing the layout of the
picture is to pull back to a wider angle. This will
increase the " wide angle distortion "
look, but you will gain the benefit of reduced
red-eye. The farther back you move when taking the
picture the slighter the angle of reflection, and
the greater the reflection becomes. Thus, you
should use a wide-angle mode rather than telephoto
when you're worried about red-eye.
6.Take two or more pictures. The first picture will cause the eyes to contract.
7. You may also improve the control of red-eye
by increasing ambient light like turn on more lights in the room and
remove the shades from the lamps in the room. This will cause the
subject's pupil to contract more, and it will
also in some cases permit you to take the picture
without the flash.
8. Having the subject not look directly at the
camera will also decrease red-eye.
9. There is no such thing as a red-eye
eliminating point-and-shoot, but with practice you
can reduce it and eliminate it by shooting in ways
that won't promote it.
- 1. Another way to "reduce" red-eye is
to simply provide as much ambient light in the room
as possible. This will cause the subject's iris
to go even smaller. Then, when the red-eye reducer
light beam comes on, the subject's iris will go
even smaller in the short period of time before the
main flash pops. It should help a little more.
-- Marc Auth AUTHentic Photo!
- 1. The built in flash on all cameras tends to
produce red-eye, even with the red-eye reduction beam
aimed at the subjects eyes. The built-in flash is
better used as a fill flash if the camera permits
- It is better to get an off-camera flash mounted
12" above the lens to reduce red-eye (or use a
flash bounce device).
Jim Arnold Dallas, TX
Have you updated your image software to Photoshop CS2, you have inside that program, a much simpler tool to get rid of red eyes than this tutorial
If it now has happened and you have i.e. Photoshop
you have all the tools needed to change the colours
from red to the original colours. There are several
methods and here is one! Maybe not the fastest but the
one which keeps structure of the pupil, and the white
light reflexes in the eye intact. If one can say
3.With the elliptical marquee tool selected select now
Anti-aliased in the Marquee Options palette to define a
smooth edge. Enter value 1 for the Feather Radius value
to softening the edges of the selection.
Tips: Save the selection (by clicking on the save
selection icon in the channel palette) as an
alpha-channel. If you later on want to adjust something
it is very easy to activate it again.)
4. Copy now the selected pupils when you are in the
green channel only. With the selections still active,
click on the red channel and choose Edit > Paste
into, from the top main menu of Photoshop. What we do
is that we copy the " good" pupil from the
green channel into the "bad" one in the red.
There are many methods and opinions about which are the
best methods. I quote some opinions from some
newsgroups during the last months.
- My favourite method, and by far the simplest, is
to fire up your paint brush, put it on a nice green,
lower the opacity, and paint over the red using your
zoom tool. Green, for these purposes, is opposite red
on the colour wheel, so it's the complementary
colour, and they will cancel each other out. This
method will work for any version. You'll just
have to mess with the opacity, depending on how red
the eye is.
........ Well, I hate to keep harping, but I'll
tell you, using the green and paintbrush is much
easier. Last night, for example, I was doing some
work on a photo, and noticed a lot of pink in the
hand of one of the people. So I used a very pale
moss green, set on 3% opacity, and I swear, you could
watch the red come right out. It... WAS.....
AMAZING!!! So it's a very valid technique, that
doesn't just work on eyes.
Retouch>Hue to target. select a colour and brush
over the red. Only the hue will change, white to
black grey scale colours will be unchanged. Easy
A free action for Red Eye removal from fredmiranda.com, can be downloaded here.
and for For Mac.
Have tried it myself and it works fine on the image above.The action should work on either individual images or in batch mode. If you have a PC, copy it into your Photoshop Action folder ( Adobe--> Photoshop--> Presets--> Photoshop Actions)
- Zoom in your subject eye
- Choose the elliptical marquee tool and create a selection on the red eyes (Hold the shift key to select both eyes simultaneously
- Higlight " Red-eye_action"
- Press play and good luck