At some point or another, almost every photographer in the course of their time behind a camera will come across a picture that has horrible red-eye problems. This curse seems to hit even the greatest photographers. How do you solve it? It is quite simple if you are using digital equipment, but a bit more difficult with the older film cameras.
For a digital camera, you have the easiest time of modifying the image since the image is already digital to start with and there is no converting of formats required to begin working to repair the red-eye problem. Not everyone truly understands what red-eye is, so let me take a moment to explain that first and foremost, for without that understanding you will think that only some people are cursed with those evil and spooky red glowing eyes.
Red-eye is caused by electronic flash reflecting from the blood vessels at the back of the eyes. It is most likely to happen in low-light situations, when the pupils have opened up wide to let in as much light as possible, hence increasing the ability to see the blood vessels. However, red-eye can appear at any point if you are using flash to take a photograph.
While red-eye reduction features on modern cameras are truly wonderful at helping control the problem, they are rarely successful in completely eliminating the problem. Have no fear; you are not relying solely on red-eye reduction in your camera. Once you have moved the photograph you need to work on to your computer, you will need to haul out your favorite video editing software.
If you are taking digital pictures, you may have had software accompany your camera when you purchased it, or if you have a photo printer, it also likely came with the printer. After you have pulled your video editing software out from the dusty pile where it has likely been ignored, you need to open the picture you have moved from your memory card to the computer so that you now see your red-eye inflicted picture in the software.
Now without cringing at the idea of the picture being completely ruined, you need to locate the paint feature on your program. I am not going to attempt to describe where it is, since all video editing programs are different in their layout, I would rather have you search around the screen than give misguided information. Most paint functions have a small paintbrush on a button, so look for the small brush.
Once you have found that small brush, you want to select the color closest to the eyes of the subject that has the red-eye problem. You need to carefully replace the red-eye look using the paintbrush and the paint color that you selected. It will take a few tries to fully master the concept of fixing these images, however as you can see all hope is not lost. You are no longer doomed to an ever-growing stack of pictures that would be perfect if it was not for the hideous red-eye glare on the screen.
Remember as with anything, practice makes perfect. Once you have mastered cleaning up the red-eye it is even possible to completely change the eye color of your subject, this can create wonderfully creative images that are quite appealing to look at as well. Practice, practice and practice this concept until you have mastered it. This will help you to conquer the red-eye monster for good.