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How to Avoid Red Eye in Photos

Learn a few red-eye reduction tricks and you can proudly display family photos instead of hiding them away.


  • Step 1: Don't use a flash Turn off your camera's automatic flash to eliminate red eye. To compensate for the loss of light, go outside, turn on lights in the room, or use a slower shutter speed or camera setting that is intended for low-light photography.
  • Step 2: Use the anti red-eye function If you need to use flash, turn on the anti red-eye feature on your camera if it has one. Look for an image of an eye among the flash settings, or consult your camera's instruction booklet to find the setting. The short flashes of light cause pupils to constrict and diminish the red-eye effect.
  • TIP: Have your photo subjects look directly at a light right before posing for the picture if you do not have an anti red-eye setting.
  • Step 3: Look away Instruct your subjects to look slightly to the side of the camera lens. Looking to the side changes the angle of light that your retinas reflect and can reduce red eye.
  • Step 4: Use an external flash Mount an external flash to your camera using a bracket that sets the flash off to one side. This technique changes the angle of reflected light and minimizes red eye.
  • TIP: Place a thin white cloth over your camera's flash if you can't use an external flash. The cloth diffuses the light before it gets to your subject's eyes, which decreases red-eye problems.
  • Step 5: Touch up photos Once you've taken the picture, remove red eye with basic photo-editing software included with your computer or with a more expensive, professional program. If you have the time and skill to edit photos, you can get rid of most blemishes with no problem!
  • FACT: Although singer David Bowie looks like he has a brown eye and a blue eye, he actually has an enlarged pupil in one eye, making it appear as though his eyes are 2 different colors.

You Will Need

  • Camera
  • External flash
  • Photo-editing software

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