Have you taken a photo with a flash and noticed that your subject’s eyes are red? Learn why red eyes happen and how to fix it.
What causes red eyes in pictures?
The red-eye effect in photography is normally caused by the camera flash or a bright light source that’s reflected from the retina.
Related: Ultimate guide to lens flare
Since the camera flash is fast, the pupils don’t have time to contract and control the amount of light traveling into the eye.
The red comes from light reflecting off of the red blood vessels of the choroid, which is a layer of tissue in the back of the eye (Source: Yale Scientific).
How to prevent it
The best way to prevent the red-eye effect is to not use flash, which can be difficult in low-light situations.
Related: Best low-light lenses for portraits
However, it may be possible to find other ways to illuminate your subject, such as using light stands or finding locations with sufficient light.
If you need to use flash, make sure your camera has the red-eye reduction feature. Most modern cameras have this feature, which emits a brief succession of light to prepare your subject’s eyes.
Additionally, you can have the subject look slightly away from the camera to avoid looking directly into the lens.
When it comes to flash photography, the red-eye effect is common. There are many ways to avoid it. If you need to correct the color, you can do so in post-processing.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash.
About David Em
David Em is the founder of Portraits Refined. He’s a published portrait photographer dedicated to helping photographers develop skills, capture incredible photos, and build successful businesses.