What Causes Red Eyes in Photos?

What Causes Red Eyes in Photos?

Digital photo retouching may be almost as popular as selfies are, but that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy to remove distracting red-eye effects from photos. Why does that happen anyway? The explanation is simple, and so is avoiding the problem.

What is Red Eye?
Red eye is the term used to describe the bright red or orange-ish spots that can be see on people’s eyes in photos. Red eye is caused by light reflecting off the retina at the back of your eyes. Generally, it happens in low light conditions when a flash is used. The bright light flashes so quickly that eyes don’t have time to respond and constrict the pupil so that less light enters the eye. This light travels through the front of the eye, but is reflected at the back of the eye because the retina has a strong blood supply. There is a layer of connective tissue called the choroid that nourishes this part of your eye, and also gives it a red color. This is why “red eye” happens.

How to Prevent Red Eye in Photos
The easiest way to prevent red eye in photos is to not use a flash. If there is enough light in the area so that your pictures turn out clear without a flash, turn it off. You may have better luck if you steady the camera as a shot without a flash usually takes a little longer to gather light, and may turn out blurry if you are not steady.

Of course, if you cannot turn off the flash because the area is too dark, tell people to look just slightly away from the camera. As long as the angle is pointed somewhat away from the camera lens, there should be no flash.

If possible, make your room brighter to get clearer photos. This can help pupils reduce size somewhat and lessen the likelihood that you’ll see a red eye reflection in the photo.

Many cameras also have built-in anti-red eye functions that you may be able to switch on for specific lighting situations that otherwise would cause trouble.

How to Fix Red Eye
Fixing red-eye problems is usually pretty easy. If you’re using a digital camera, some of them can correct the problem digitally with a red eye function in the menu, if not avoid it altogether. Pictures taken on smartphones can be corrected with any number of photo editing apps. If you’ve had photos printed and red eye is present, check out some of the photo kiosks available at many stores that develop and print photos. You can usually scan the photo, remove the problem, and print it quickly and easily.

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