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Chapter 4. Editing Photos > To reduce red-eye in a photo

To reduce red-eye in a photo

Click the Red-Eye button.

iPhoto switches to the red-eye reduction crosshair pointer, and displays a small control you can click when done.

Click in the center of the subject's eyes (Figure 4.25).

Figure 4.25. To reduce the effect of red-eye in a photo, click the Red-Eye button, and then click the center of each eye.

If all goes well, iPhoto converts the red shades in the clicked areas to dark gray.

When you're done, click the X button in the pop-up that reads, “To remove red-eye, click the center of each eye.”

What Is Red-Eye?

Red-eye is a phenomenon that occurs in photographs when light from the camera's flash reflects off the blood vessels in the retina of the subject's eyes. It's worse when the flash is close to the lens, with young children, with blue or gray eyes (which reflect more light than darker eyes), and in dim settings.

You can reduce the likelihood of red-eye occurring in the first place:

  • Try to cause the subject's pupils to contract by increasing the room light, asking the person to look at a bright light right before taking the picture, or using a red-eye reduction feature in your camera (which pulses the flash before taking the picture).

  • Have the subject look slightly away from the camera lens rather than directly toward it.

  • If your camera supports an external flash unit, use it to increase the distance between the flash and the camera lens.

✓ Tips

  • Access iPhoto's previous interface for fixing red-eye by selecting the eyes, and then -clicking the Red-Eye button.

  • It can be much easier to click the subject's eyes accurately if you zoom in first, as I've done in Figure 4.25.

  • Press and release to toggle between the “before” and “after” views.

  • The Red-Eye tool works poorly if the subject isn't facing the camera directly.

  • iPhoto's approach to reducing red-eye makes people look as though they have black eyes, which isn't ideal, and it won't work on green-eye in dogs. You can achieve better results in other image-editing programs, and if you don't have one, try using the Retouch tool or convert the photo to black-and-white.

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