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  • Dark photos & red-eye problem

    Recently, had a lot of pictures taken indoors (nighttime) with my casio exilim digicam. After loading the photos on my computer, I was a bit disappointed to see most of them came out dark and had red-eye problem. It was nothing that PS can't fix.

    Do you have any tricks/tips on how to avoid these problems in the first place? Any settings that I need to adjust on my camera?

  • #2
    Re: Dark photos & red-eye problem

    Hi Soleah

    Red eye is caused because the flash is too close to the lens. This is why you see professionals holding a flashgun away from the camera or using studio lights. Most modern cameras have a red eye reduction feature but this gives a pre-flash which does not work that often.

    I see you own an Exilim which has a built in flash so it is more difficult to move the flash away from the camera (It can be done with a slave flash)
    The easiest way to avoid red eye is to get your subject to look away from the camera. This stop the light reflecting back from the retina.

    As to why your pictures are dark.
    Usually the problem is that the camera ‘sees’ the background rather than the subject. But this causes the subject to come out too light. The only thing I can think of is that the photographer was too far away from the subject and the flash was not powerful enough to cover the range. (This is more common with group photos)
    I would need to see an image to give more advice here.

    Hope this Helps


    Ken.
    Last edited by Cameraken; 12-10-2006, 07:58 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Dark photos & red-eye problem

      I must disagree with Cameraken (I'm a Photographer), Red eye isn't caused by the incidence of the flash on the lens of any camera, it's caused by the flash over the pupil 'cause when someone's in a dark place the pupil is wide open to capture the enviroment and it's not adjust to the light that is going to receive from the mounted flash of your camera, so the red eye that you saw on your pics are the blood vessels of people's eye, to avoid this you must ask the "models" (people that will be photographed) to look some point of light (if it's really bright is more appropriate) before you shot the pic, that way the pupil will be adjusted to the light that's going to receive.

      The reason that photographers use the flash away is to get a more even light over the subject, and studio lighting is for the same reason.

      About the dark image, the mounted flash works over the nearest object, that's why the background objects that are far away appears dark, you must search on the camera's manual what's the maxim distance capacity of your mounted flash, with this you can really know how far should be your background.

      Hope this help you.

      Silvia.

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      • #4
        Re: Dark photos & red-eye problem

        Hi Silvia

        Please read my post again. We agree.

        This stop the light reflecting back from the retina
        Ken

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        • #5
          Re: Dark photos & red-eye problem

          You're right, but I disagree about the incidence of the flash over the lens, 'cause if in any way the light of the mounted flash it's supposed to be too close to the lens you'll only get a discoloration or lens flare on the pic.

          Silvia.

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          • #6
            Re: Dark photos & red-eye problem

            Hi Sylvia

            You're right, but I disagree about the incidence of the flash over the lens
            Well I never said that. What I actually said was

            Red eye is caused because the flash is too close to the lens

            I did not go into too much detail (I was trying to keep it simple) but I will explain further.

            There are two things which cause red eye

            The angle.
            Light travels from the flash to the subject. The light hits the back of the retina and is reflected out. If the camera is in the path of this reflected light then it will show as red eye on the image.
            This is much more common when the flash is close to the lens because most subjects are looking at the camera and the angles are right to produce red eye.

            Pupil size.
            The dilation or contraction of the pupil also has a role to play. The larger the pupil then the more chance of this happening. This is why children and drunks are more prone to red eye.
            Asking the subject to look at a bright light will help by contracting the pupils (compact cameras have a red eye reduction mode which gives a pre flash to do the same thing)
            However women look far sexier if their pupils are dilated So it is better (for women) to Not contract the pupils and get them to look ‘off camera’ (and hence change the angle)

            Camera manufacturers have always been aware that moving the flash away from the lens helped to reduce red eye. And in the past there have been novel methods to try to achieve this. The Kodak Advantix (aps) cameras had a lift up lens cover with the flash at the top.
            The canon ixus z70 had a lever to slide the flash out and away from the lens etc. More recently as cameras get smaller this is getting impossible to do And all current cameras rely on a red eye reduction pre flash (SLRs do still have a pop up flash)
            Lens flair is not a problem with compacts because the manufacturers design the camera so that the flash is behind the lens.

            Red eye is now more of a common problem that it was years ago. In the 1950’s and 60’s cameras did not have a built in flash. It was necessary to buy a flash bracket and external flashun. Red eye was very rare because the flash was father away from the lens.

            Ken

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            • #7
              Re: Dark photos & red-eye problem

              Thanks, Silvia & Ken, for the tip & info. That's very helpful.

              I'd be sure to advise my son, too. He seem to always have this redeye problem on his pics, even with our film camera.

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              • #8
                Re: Dark photos & red-eye problem

                Hi Soleah.

                You are welcome.
                I should have Googled earlier. It would have saved some typing

                Here is a link.

                http://science.howstuffworks.com/question51.htm

                And here is one for pets

                http://www.colorpilot.com/redeye_effect.html

                And here is a product that helps reduce red eye in compact cameras

                http://www.beckhamdigital.co.uk/prod...h/vee/vee.html


                Ken.

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                • #9
                  Re: Dark photos & red-eye problem

                  Ken, thanks for the link to the Vee thing. I have been looking for something I could use with a carry-around P&S. That looks like it would work well. One of those things you see and think "Why didn't I think of that?" !!

                  Dawn

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                  • #10
                    Re: Dark photos & red-eye problem

                    Hi Dawn.

                    You are welcome.
                    One of my customers also invented one here

                    http://www.quasar-products.com

                    I think she also puts them on Ebay from time to time

                    Ken.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Dark photos & red-eye problem

                      Thanks again, Ken.

                      Comment

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