Tricks To Avoid The “Red Eye” Effect In Your Next Portraits

Are you bored when your night portraits look like something out of the Twilight movie? If your models aren’t Cullens, you don’t have to capture their red-colored eyes. Yes, I know, you don’t do it on purpose… the camera does it alone and then you have to work with an editor to retouch it so that the eyes look like those of a normal person and not those of someone possessed by Lucifer or any other supernatural creature. Well, if you want to save yourself that tedious job, which also offers somewhat unnatural results, stay here and I’ll tell you some simple tricks to avoid red eye in photos at the time of shooting. You will see how simple they are.

Why do red eyes appear in photos?

Understanding why this phenomenon occurs will help you avoid it and you may even find your own tricks. Red eye appears mainly on compact cameras where the flash is very close to the lens. When shooting, when there is very little ambient light, the pupils are dilated to receive more light, what happens is that they also receive the light from the flash and this light is reflected in the back of the eye (full of blood vessels, hence its color ). It also happens when you shoot with an SLR with the built-in flash for the same reason. Once you know why it happens, I’ll tell you how to avoid it.

Red-eye reduction mode

Your camera may have this red-eye reduction option that works by emitting a few pre-shot flashes to make the pupils close. What happens is that this system does not guarantee that red eyes will not appear, so I recommend that you use other means so that you do not have to finally resort to retouching in editors.

Avoid red eye with compact cameras

In this type of cameras, you cannot move the flash away from the camera and therefore neither from the lens, so you can use the following tricks:

1. Try to get your model to stand where their eyes can get more ambient light so their pupils don’t widen as much. That is, place it in the brightest place in the room. This is not always possible, so we need to resort to other strategies.

2. If there are several people who are going to be photographed, try to get them to interact with each other so that they do not look directly at the camera. This will also give you a more natural and spontaneous snapshot. Likewise, if it is only one person, you can ask them to turn their face to the side and not look directly at the camera. If this is not possible either, because they want a portrait from the front and looking at the camera, or you want it, for whatever reason, there are more ways to achieve it.

3. Ask your model or models to look at a point of light for a few seconds, then count to four, look at the camera and shoot! This is a way for the pupils to close before you fire the flash.

4. Another homemade trick is to place a small white piece of cardboard under the flash at an angle of about 45º so that the light from it bounces upwards and does not hit the eyes of the people portrayed directly.

Avoid red eyes with SLR cameras and external flash.

In these cases it is much easier. The flash and the lens are further away and even independent of each other and you can more easily achieve that the light does not reach the eyes directly.

In the event that the flash is attached, you just have to direct it towards the ceiling so that the light bounces and is more diffused. This way you avoid red eyes for sure.

With handheld flashes, you just aim the light to the side instead of straight at your face. If you want to know more about the external flash, in this complete guide you will find all the answers.

Have you seen how easy it is? Well then… what are you waiting for to practice? Oh, of course, let it be done at night… okay, then I give you permission 😉 In the meantime, if you found this information interesting, you could share it so that your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter contacts can also access it and when they ask you photo at your next party don’t look like Eduard Cullen’s first cousin or brother-in-law (no matter how fashionable they are 😉 ). Thank you and see you soon!