It’s not always possible to prevent unsightly red-eye when taking photos of people. The good news is that it can be removed with image editing software. Programs have a special tool to remove the red color simply by clicking a few buttons. Some programs, and even some digital cameras, remove red-eye automatically.
Manually removing red-eye from a photo
You can eliminate red-eye if your photo editing program has a tool to desatuarte color. When desaturated, colors are converted to varying tones of black and white known as grayscale. The red color changes to grayscale without changing the actual lightness of each pixel. This method gives the photographer more control over removing red-eye.
The red-eye in this color corrected photo was removed using the sponge tool in Photoshop.*
- Select the sponge tool.
- Choose a brush size large enough to cover a single eye.
- Select the Desaturate mode. from the Mode drop down window. Adjust the Brush size and softness and Flow as needed.
- Place the brush on each eye and click the mouse until the red color is gone.
The image was also edited to remove the color cast.
Some newer digital cameras have built-in red-eye removal, though it is not always 100% effective.
* Newer versions of Photoshop have a Red-Eye removal tool that lets you adjust for pupil size and the amount of darkening.