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Professional Picture Editing

How Red Eye Effect is Corrected during Image Capture and Editing

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It is often seen that while taking portrait photographs, the eyes of the person appears red. This is unappealing and can often ruin the appearance of the entire image. Red eye is common while taking photographs and is especially the case when capturing portraits. It causes the person’s eyes to emit a red glow that can bounce back into the camera lens thereby giving the appearance of the reddened eye. Correction of red eye is one of the most important processes undertaken in professional picture editing.

Most professional cameras have an integrated red-eye reduction tool that can correct this defect once the image is captured. However, this is an inappropriate method, as it cannot fully remove the red eye from an image. It, therefore, requires advanced image editing software like Adobe Photoshop that can selectively remove the red glow in the eyes and restore it to normal eye color. This is why it remains one of the key processes done by photo editing services in portrait as well as event photography.

Causes of Red Eye

The red-eye effect is caused due to the camera’s flash in a dimly lit space. Low light can cause the pupils to expand allowing more light. The use of flash causes the light to enter inside through the dilated pupils and bounce back from the retina of the eye.

The red glow is because of the blood flowing through the retinal tissues. Inappropriate positioning of the flash is one major reason for the occurrence of red eye in photos. In case of cameras with built-in flash, the light reflected is more, thereby increasing the reddened glow in the photos.

Correcting Red Eye

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Red-Eye Reduction Tool

The necessary corrections for the red eye are carried out during the editing of the image. The imaging software Photoshop contains a built-in red-eye reduction tool that can fully remove reddened eyes from the subjects. Most photo editing services use this tool to remove red eyes and then utilize many other tools to further smoothen the image. These editing tools will help to restore the natural color of the retina and thus correct reddened eyes.

The best approach is to avoid red eye while taking the images. A few methods can be used while capturing the image that can effectively minimize the occurrence of red eyes. This is best achieved by turning off the flash and resorting to using available light. An external flash can minimize red eye as it can be positioned at different angles, unlike the camera’s built-in flash.

Bouncing the flash is another method as it can soften the image by reflecting it off surfaces like a ceiling. This ensures that the subject is illuminated not directly and at a different angle, that prevents the entry of light into the eyes thus preventing red eye. Properly illuminating the space is yet another method, as it will prevent the pupils of the subject’s eyes to become wide open and avoid red-eye.