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Instant Red Eye Removal

When I see a digital camera with the flash mounted directly above the lens, I think, “Hey, there’s an automated red-eye machine.” If you’re a pro, you probably don’t have to deal with this as much, because your flash probably isn’t mounted directly above your lens—you’re using bounce flash, holding the flash separately, you’ve got studio lights, or one of a dozen other techniques. But even when the pros pick up a “point-and-shoot,” red eye can find them. Here’s the quick “I-just-want-it-gone” technique for getting rid of red eye fast.

Step One.
Open a photo where the subject has red eye. Zoom in on the eyes by dragging a rectangle around them with the Zoom tool (the Magnifying Glass tool).

Step Two.
In Photoshop CS, Adobe has added a tool that makes red-eye removal a no-brainer. It’s called the Color Replacement tool. You can find it in the flyout menu of the Healing Brush (as shown here). So switch to the Color Replacement tool and then press the letter “d” to set your Foreground color to black.

Step Three.
Use the Color Replacement tool and paint directly over the red eye (you can even dab if you’d like). As you paint, the red disappears because the Color Replacement tool’s Blend Mode is set to Color in the Options Bar, which desaturates (removes the color from) anywhere you paint.

Step Four.
Paint over all the other eyes in the photo, and you’re done—and best of all, the entire process takes just seconds. You almost have to wonder why Adobe didn’t call the Color Replacement tool the Red-Eye Removal tool.

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