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Strategies to Avoid Red-Eye


Strategies to Avoid Red-Eye

Convenient as it is, a built-in flash does have a major drawback when used to photograph people: red-eye. Red-eye occurs when light from the flash bounces off the subject's retinas and reflects back to the camera lens. Along the way, the light takes on the tint of the blood vessels in the eye, which causes the eyes to appear to be glowing red in the picture. A couple of tactics reduce ? but may not entirely eliminate ? the pesky red-eye phenomenon:
  • Indoors, turn on as many lights as possible. In response to the additional light, your subject's eyes will constrict a little, so less flash light will be reflected back to the lens.
  • If you're shooting indoors during daylight, position your subjects next to a window. The daylight coming through the window will have the same positive effect as turning on additional room lights.
  • Switch the flash to red-eye reduction mode. In red-eye mode, the camera fires a brief, preflash light in advance of the main flash. The idea is the same as turning on lots of room lights ? the eyes constrict in response to the preflash so that when the main flash fires, less light is reflected from the retinas. Keep in mind, though, that it's called red-eye reduction and not red-eye prevention mode for a reason: That little preflash can do only so much, so you may still wind up with some red-eye areas.
  • Consider posing your subjects so that they're not looking directly into the camera lens. A profile shot can be every bit as captivating as a regular, face-forward image. You can also ask your subjects to look off to one side or slightly up or down. Because the flashlight won't be heading straight for the eyes, red-eye reflections will be minimized.

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