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Reducing Red-Eye

We’ve all seen the result of using on-camera flashes when shooting people: the dreaded red-eye! This demonic effect is the result of the light from the flash entering the pupil and then reflecting back as an eerie red glow. The closer the flash is to the lens, the greater the chance that you will get red-eye. This is especially true when it is dark and the subject’s pupils are dilated. There are two ways to combat this problem. The first is to get the flash away from the lens. That’s not an option, though, if you are using the pop-up flash. Therefore, you will need to turn to the Red-Eye Reduction feature.

This is a simple feature that shines a light from the camera at the subject, causing their pupils to shrink, thus eliminating or reducing the effects of red-eye (Figure 8.17).

Figure 8.17

Figure 8.17 The picture on the left did not use Red-Eye Reduction, thus the glowing red eyes. Notice that the pupils on the image on the right, without red-eye, are smaller as a result of using the Red-Eye Reduction lamp.

ISO 800 • 1/60 sec. • f/5.6 • 200mm lens

The feature is set to Off by default and needs to be turned on in the shooting menu.

Turning on the Red-Eye Reduction feature

  1. Press the Menu button and then turn the Main dial to get to the first shooting menu.
  2. Highlight the Red-eye Reduc. setting (A).

  3. Press the Set button, select Enable, and press the Set button (B).

  4. Press the Menu button twice or the shutter release button to return to shooting mode.

To get the full benefit from the Red-Eye Reduction feature, you should hold down the shutter button halfway, which causes the reduction light to shine into your subject’s eyes. A small scale will appear in the viewfinder that shows how long to hold the shutter button before pressing completely. Once the countdown scale has reduced down to nothing, press the shutter button completely to take the picture.

Truth be told, I rarely shoot with red-eye reduction turned on because of the time it takes before being able to take a picture. If I am after candid shots and have to use the flash, I will take my chances on red-eye and try to fix the problem in my image-processing software. The Canon Image Browser software that comes with your T6s / T6i has a red-eye reduction feature that works really well.

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