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Correcting Red Eye

Red eye has long been a source of frustration for the amateur photographer. If you’re in an indoor or darkened space, the pupils in your eyes grow larger to let in more light, and can’t shrink (dilate) quickly enough to compensate for the sudden surprise of a camera flash. That light, reflecting off the back of the eye and into the camera lens, causes red eye. Many newer cameras have flashes that flicker before the picture is actually snapped, giving the subject’s pupils a chance to dilate and greatly reducing the effects of red eye. But chances are that you still have some older photos lying around that you’d like to repair. The Red Eye Brush tool offers an effective way to remove red eye, simply by changing pixels from one color to another.

To remove red eye from a photograph:

Select the Red Eye Brush tool from the toolbox, or Press Y (Figure 6.31).

Figure 6.31. The Red Eye Brush tool.

Click the Default Colors button (Figure 6.32) to reset the Current and Replacement colors on the options bar; then check that the sampling method is set to First Click (Figure 6.33).

Figure 6.32. Click on the Default Color button to replace the red in the eye with the default neutral gray color.

Figure 6.33. If it’s not already selected, make sure the Sampling method is set to First Click.

Selecting First Click changes the color beneath the Red Eye brush crosshairs (in this case, the red portion of the eye) to the replacement color as soon as you first click the mouse button, and continues to change the red color as long as you hold down the mouse button and drag over the image.

If necessary, zoom in on the area you want to correct, then position the brush pointer (the circle and crosshair) over the red eye in the photo.

Notice that the color in the Current box changes to the red eye color, while the color in the Replacement box remains black.

With the crosshair centered over the eye, click the “[” and “]” keys to resize the brush until it just covers the red in the pupil (Figure 6.34).

Figure 6.34. Place the brush pointer directly over the pupil, then simply resize the brush and click to remove the red eye effect.

With this keyboard shortcut, the brush is resized, up or down, in 10 pixel increments and is a handy way to surround just the area you want to correct. Don’t worry if the brush size extends slightly into the true color of the pupil or the white of the eye. Because you chose First Click in step 2, only the red in the eye will be affected.

With the brush pointer still centered over the eye, click the mouse button once.

The Red Eye brush works by replacing the current color directly beneath (red) to a tint of the replacement color. Since the replacement color is black, the red in the eye changes to a muted gray, removing the red eye.



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