We’ve talked about Pink Eye and how to avoid it. Now it’s time to talk about a common affliction — the dreaded Red Eye. How does it happen and how can we avoid it?
What is Red Eye?
Here’s the good news — Red Eye isn’t a physical ailment or condition. It is, however, the hazard that all photographers face when taking photos of anyone or anything that has eyes. You’ve seen the dreaded demon-eye effect that occurs when the camera flash bounces off the eye of a person or pet. An otherwise wonderful picture can be ruined by this.
Technically, this is called red-eye and is caused when the pupil of your subject’s eye is wide open and the light from the camera’s flash reflects off the person’s retina. In people, the color ends up red; in pets, the color is often green.
Remedies for Red Eye
Many photo editing programs include a red-eye correction filter, but this may not allow your photograph subject to appear “normal. These filters also do not work on the green effect produced in a pet’s eyes. Photo stores sell pens that are used to clear up red-eye, but again they are not always natural-looking and do not work on the green. The best thing is to prevent the demon-eye effect from the start.
Here are two tips to make your holiday photos red-eye free:
- Red-Eye Reduction Feature: It is rare to find a digital camera that does not come with a red-eye reduction feature. This feature can be turned off or on. It is best left on in all circumstances other than direct sunlight. The red-eye reduction feature works by flashing a short burst of light at your subject before you snap the picture. This burst of light causes the subject’s pupil to close and makes it less likely for the camera’s flash to reflect off the retina. This in turn reduces the chance of red-eye.
- Careful Where You Aim Your Flash: It also helps to direct the flash of your camera so it does not directly hit your subject’s eyes. Bouncing the flash off a nearby wall or other object will soften its effect and reduce the chances of this unwanted malady.
Between bouncing the flash and using your digital camera’s red-eye reduction feature, your little angel, whether human or animal, will have eyes that don’t glow. Have a great time this holiday season showing off your new flash management skills!