Redeye-180x300Most people have had at least one photo ruined by the dreaded, “red eye” and most have had it happen more often than they want to think about. It is frustrating and means that you have to edit photos to remove the red eye, but it does not always mean that it looks normal. If you are wondering how to eliminate red eyes when taking pictures, perhaps experimenting with these tips will make things easier.

Before You Start Practicing

When it comes to red eyes, it is a normal part of taking photos. To understand why, you should think of your pupil as a tunnel. When a camera light flashes into a person’s eye, light will travel through that tunnel. When it reaches the end, there is where you find the blood that is in the back of your retina and it is what will cause the red color to bounce back toward the camera. The larger the tunnel, the larger the chance for red to show up in your photo.


Even though the blood supply in the choroid is normal for all eyes, this does not mean that you are doomed to red eyed photos forever. There are things that you can do which may not eliminate the red eye completely, but it should put the odds of no red eye, a little more within your reach.

The Pre-Flash

The easiest way to eliminate red eyes is to pre-flash your target and luckily it is available in most cameras. This causes the pupil to shrink up and when it is small, it is less likely to capture the light. This means that there will be less light reflecting within the pupil’s tunnel and less chance of it flashing back into the camera’s focus.

Angle It

If light traveling through the “tunnel” causes red eyes to form, what will happen if you use less direct lighting? No red eye. You can do this by having the person look slightly away from where the camera will flash or have the flash bounce off the walls and ceiling instead. Either of these things will ensure that light is unable to travel completely through the tunnel where it can reflect the reddish color back. It also works when your target still has a slight red eye after you try to use the pre-flash or red eye reduction settings on your camera. However, with one you aren’t going to get a picture of your target looking directly into the camera lens and the other is simply adding more light to the otherwise dark areas of the room. You will have to choose the option that you prefer.

Separate Light Sources

This option is typically seen in older photo shoots, but it is still a viable option today as well. A separate flash that can be set up and allows the person to look directly into the camera with very little concern of red eyes, because the light cannot bounce directly back at the camera. However, it still gives the person a very illuminated look.


Which way you choose to go about reducing or eliminating red eyes when taking pictures is up to you. Either of these three tips should at least point your photography skills in a more positive direction. At least you will no longer have to deal with the problem of red eyes. Which is really all that most people want.