Red Eye Effect

Red eye effect in a photograph of a portrait of a person shows red pupils in eyes. The result spoils the appeal of the picture, as it looks unnatural.

This happens when we use a small camera flash light, very close to the lens, and ambient light is poor and low. In poor light condition, iris of the eye is wide open. When the camera fires a flash, the light passes through the wide open iris of eye, and then it is reflected back from the inner wall of the eye ball. As the inner wall of an eye ball has good amount of blood veins, it makes the inner wall red in color, and the reflected light from this red surface is red.

There are number of ways to avoid this effect. If we increase the distance if the camera flash light from the lens, the problem is solved. However, it is not possible to do this in a compact camera. So when we are using a compact camera for portrait, one solution is to ask the model to turn his or her face away from the camera and avoid eye contact with the camera lens. Should you need eye contact, then bounce the direct flash with small reflector to the ceiling or a wall.

Another way to deal with this issue is to increase the brightness of ambient light. This will make the iris of eyes smaller and chances of capturing red eye will reduce. If we can increase the brightness of ambient light up to that extent, that there is no need to use the camera flash, then the problem is solved. In such case, we can use faster shutter speed by using wider lens aperture and higher ISO settings.

Most of modern compact cameras are equipped with red eye reduction feature. When this feature is used, the flash light fires series of low power flash light, before actual click. This light is enough to make the iris of an eye smaller, and red eye effect is not recorded.

With DSLR cameras and head on camera flash light for professional use is used, the chances are rare of this effect. This is because of longer flash light body, which increases the distance between flash and the lens. Secondly, most of wedding and function photographers mount their flash light on a flash mounting bracket, which further increases the distance.

We can remove red eye spots with the help of photo editing software.

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