The Evolution of Red Eye Correction for Scanning Photos

Posted by ed oboyle on Tue, Jun 25, 2013 @ 06:00 AM

The Evolution of Red Eye Correction for Scanning PhotosDo you find your pictures always have red eye? Since when did your daughter change her eye color? Red eye is a common problem in color photography, especially with compact cameras where the flash is next to the camera lens. Photographers throughout history have corrected red eye with a variety of methods, which have become increasingly more sophisticated. The process of scanning photos typically includes red-eye elimination.

What is Red Eye?

The red-eye effect causes a subject's pupils to appear, well, red in a photograph. It typically occurs in conditions of low ambient light when the photographic flash is very close to the camera. The bright light from the flash enters the subject's pupils, reflects off the fundus at the back of the eyeball and travels back to the camera lens. The red color comes from the large blood supply in the eye's choroid.

History of Red Eye Correction

The earliest methods of eliminating red eye were manual - software and professional servies weren't readily available options like today. Photographers could use a camera with a separate flash unit, allowing the light from the flash to enter the pupil from an oblique angle. Increasing the ambient light also allows the photographer to reduce shutter speed or use faster film, which eliminates the need for a flash.

Many modern cameras have automatic red-eye reduction as a built-in feature, so that the subject's eyes don't appear red when you scan photos. These cameras emit a series of low-power flashes that cause the subject's pupils to contract, preventing the flash from reflecting back to the camera lens. However, professional photographers prefer to use indirect flashing techniques since people don't look natural with constricted pupils (PC World).

How to Avoid Red Eye

If possible, it's always better to avoid red eye before it happens. When taking photographs consider these points outlined by Dave Johnson from PC World:

  • Brighten the room

  • Use a Red Eye mode

  • Don't let light reflect directly into the camera

  • Move the flash off the camera

Red Eye Correction For Scanning Photos

It is inevitable that some photos will still have red eye in them, despite your best efforts. Red-eye elimination is a common feature of many software applications that allows you to scan photos at home. These applications can often find the eyes in the image and perform the color correction automatically. Some software that can scan pictures requires you to select the pupils manually.

Scanning photos can also be done by photo scanning services, which often use a range of technologies that include automatic and manual methods. FotoBridge has an exclusive process for scanning photos known as IDF that doesn't incur an additional charge!

Photographers must routinely deal with the problem of red eye in some way. It is a fact of life we unfortunately can't always avoid. Luckily, the evolution of red eye correction has come to the point where you can easily make modifications with at home software. Another way of fixing red eye is to leave it to the professionals - photo scanning services have trained employees that help breathe new life into your old photos.

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Topics: scanning photos, Red Eye Correction, Digital Imaging Techniques

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