Sunday, October 14, 2012

Minimizing Red-Eye in Your Photos

Red-eye is the phenomenon where people have glowing red eyes in photographs. This is caused by the close proximity of the flash (especially built-in flash) to the camera lens, which causes light from the subject to be reflected directly back at the camera.
When the flash fires, the light reflects off the blood in the capillaries in the back of the subject’s eyes and back into the camera lens. People with blue eyes are particularly susceptible to the red-eye phenomenon because they have less pigment to absorb the light.

There are a few ways to minimize or eliminate red-eye in your pictures. Some cameras provide a red-eye reduction feature that fires a preflash, forcing the irises in your subject’s eyes to close before you take the picture. The main problem with this method is that it often forces subjects to involuntarily close their eyes before the image is taken, and it doesn’t always completely eliminate the red-eye effect. A more effective method is to use an external flash via the camera’s hot-shoe mount or, better yet, with an extension bracket. An external flash radically changes the angle of the flash, preventing the lens from capturing the reflection of the blood in the back of your subject’s eyes. While you can also fix the red-eye effect using Aperture, there is no way to accurately reproduce the original color of your subject’s eyes. Preventing the problem before it occurs is the preferred solution.

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