A friend has just shown me some 50 to 60 photographs that she took at a girlie night out. I hate to say it, but practically all her fellow revellers look like demons from hell.
It’s the old red eye problem. It’s caused by reflected flash. As most point and shoot cameras will automatically use flash indoors (and even outdoors if the light is poor), it is a very common occurrence.If you want to look good in photos and avoid having the centres of your eyes looking like the mouths of a volcano, don’t look straight at the camera lens when flash is being used. Preferably look just over the top of the camera. This will make you appear to be looking at the camera without the hell fire effect.Simple little tips like this can make you look so much better in those impromptu photographs. This “snap” was taken with flash although it was daylight outside. The ambient light therefore wasn’t too low - so not a red eye in sight.
Red eye is caused by light from the flash bouncing back off the retina, the light sensitive area at the back of the eye. In poor light, when flash is likely to be used, our pupils are relatively dilated (wide) to allow more light in so that we can see better. When the pupils are dilated the retina is more exposed and it reflects more light.
If the eyes are looking directly at the camera then the light reflected from the retina will hit the lens full on and be recorded by the light sensor in the camera. As the retina is red in colour this makes the pupils appear bright red.These days the photographer can use the red eye reduction feature on the camera, or failing that edit the red eye out by means of digital editing software. However not everyone does this, and it is better to avoid looking directly at the lens, rather than risk appearing in subsequent photos as a half-crazed banshee ! (the dictionary definition is a wailing female spirit of Irish folklore origin).
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