The Easiest Way to Remove Red-Eye in Photos

If you've taken photos with a flash, you've most likely run into a case of the dreaded red-eye. The red-eye effect is the undesirable effect in flash photography of people appearing to have red eyes, caused by a reflection from the retina when the flashgun is too near the camera lens. In some cases, this is completely unavoidable while taking the shot.

There are many ways to reduce or remove red-eye using various photo editing tools. PhotoShop, for example, has a built-in red-eye reduction tool that works well, but PhotoShop is, well, expensive and somewhat difficult to use. Especially for the average user. Enter iPhoto. iPhoto is free and offers many incredible management and editing tools. I personally use iPhoto to manage my massive digital photo library. One of the many tools that iPhoto has built-in is a red-eye reduction tool. It's super-simple to use.

First, we need to open the image. Below is a sample image that I will use to remove red-eye.

With the image open, we can access the editing tools by simply clicking on the "Edit" button, located in the lower right-hand corner.

As you can see, the editing tools are broken into various categories: Quick Fixes, Effects and Adjust. While I won't go into the details of each editing option found here, I would strongly encourage you to take a few minutes to go through them on your own time. For now, we want to use the "Fix Red-Eye" tool. Clicking on the button will reveal easy-to-understand instructions:


At this point, all we need to do is use the slider to adjust the size of the affected area (the red part of the eye that we want to remove), then click on the red part of the eye. That's it! Editing this photo and removing the red eye affect took me literally 3 seconds.

Note: When choosing the size of the circle, you will want to size it just larger than the red area. When you click on the eye, it will analyze the area and remove just the red portion of that area. If you size the circle to exactly the same size as the red portion of the eye, you will be left with a slight red fringe.

Posted on July 28, 2014 and filed under Design, How To, Mac.