Let the blog be written… Red eye in photos

While flicking though my photos on Facebook I noticed that in almost all of them I have Red Eye… from camera flash, just thought id clarify that before I get all the 5yr olds in the house putting their 2cents in.  This is not the first time that I’d noticed Red Eye, I’ve always had it… though what I did notice was that all my friends with brown eyes did not have Red Eye in the same photos that I was in.  Which lead me to think that perhaps Blue or lighter eye colour may in fact be more prone to Red Eye.

Now for some of you who like to stalk my Facebook page this may be a bit of a repeat but I thought i’d write the blog anyway.

First I had to do some research on what causes Red Eye and if there is any evidence that eye colour makes a difference at all.  Thanks to Google and Wiki this only took a matter of seconds… thankfully because im also trying to watch House.  In short Red Eye occurs because the light of the flash is too fast for the iris of the eye to close the pupil and so the light of the flash illuminates the retina causing Red Eye.  This is why some cameras have a Red Eye setting which let off two flashes, the first flash causes the pupil to contract and the second… well just does what a normal flash should do.  BUT how am I to know if the person taking the photo has turned the setting on or even has that option on their camera? I can’t stop the show for my own vanity… or can I?? hmm…

Regardless this still does not answer my question about whether the colour of my eyes makes me more prone to Red Eye. 

However reading on I discover that in people with grey or blue eyes and also in children there is a lack of melanin (which when you think about it does make sense really) and because of this more light is able to pass through into the retina. On a side note, children, despite superficial appearances, do not have larger pupils but their pupils are more reactive to light and are able to open to the fullest extent in low light conditions.  Perhaps this is why children are so good at seeing things in the dark?

So, it appears that because my eyes are blue and therefore are lacking in melanin more light is able to enter my retina creating Red Eye.  Now I know that there are solutions for reducing Red Eye: camera settings, turning the lights on, angling the flash away from the shutter, or just looking away… but lets face it unless your camera has these settings or the person behind the camera know what they are doing then they are pretty pointless tips and with digital compact cameras these days it is pretty hard not to look at the flash without looking in the complete wrong direction to the camera.  and adding more melanin into my eyes (don’t even know if this would be possible) is not an option!

However…and feel free to call me blonde or daft here… but if the problem is that too much light is able to enter my retina, then what would happen if I wore coloured contacts.  I don’t mean to change the colour but perhaps to block some of the light entering my retina? If anyone cares to comment feel free. Im thinking its plausible though and tomorrow I am going to make it my mission to test this theory… watch this space! xx


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