Historical Posting – Originally published in our In Focus Newsletter in 1998 – Since this is an archived story – products mentioned may not be available or even made any more – Let us know if you have any questions.
Redeye is caused by the reflection of your flash off the blood vessels in the back of they eye. It happens most often in dark environments when the subject’s pupils are wide open. Redeye happens to all photographers, novice, amateur and professional, but it can be reduced or overcome. Here are some suggestions from the BCC staff on how to reduce or eliminate redeye:
- Turn on lots of lights. Light will cause the subject’s pupils to constrict reducing the size of redeye.
- Raise the flash. Redeye happens a lot with point an shoot cameras where the flash is mounted close to the lens, actually bouncing off the back of your eyes and into the lens. Raising the flash will help to reduce redeye. Consider the purchase of a separate bounce flash attachment if it is avaialable for your camera.
- Redeye reduction cameras equipped with redeye reduction will flicker briefly in order to constrict the subjects pupils, then the real flash fires. This technique does help to reduce redeye, but it also delays your photo slightly and you may miss that important “Kodak moment”.
- Redeye pens and pet-eye pens also solve the problem of correcting the problem once the red eyes have been caught on film. You simply color over the red eyes and remove the offending red glare.
- Bounce flash. This is only available for cameras with an accessory flash shoe. The bounce flash features a movable head and allows bouncing the flash off the ceiling. This distributes and diffuses the light more evenly and eliminates the harshness that direct flash produces. Note: Your bounced surface should not be more that 8 feet away and should be an un-tinted white color.
- Bounce flash with Lumi Quest Pocket Bouncer. The Pocket Bouncer is perhaps the best solution for redeye and is the one that the BCC staff most frequently recommends. The LumiQuest Pocket Bouncer takes just a few seconds to install on your flash and virtually eliminates redeye and hot spots. The resultant photographs have a totally professional look that doesn’t shout that a flash was used. The diffused, soft look to the light is completely natural and appealing. The LumiQuest will pay for itself in quality shots you can be proud of, time and again.