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Old Nov 23, 2004, 1:16 PM   #1
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I want to start getting more nicer looking photo's with my digital and have a couple questions

What is the best setting or situation to reduce red eye in pictures (I am not good with using softwear after the fact) and how come professional photo's never have red eye??

If I want to do some pictures without a flash of my son who is 8 months old and moves non-stop what is the best way to so that so they do not come put too dark or blurry...any tricks ??


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Old Nov 24, 2004, 11:11 AM   #2
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Red eye is a result of having the flash close to the lens. Most small digital cameras will give you red eye. Some cameras have a red eye reduction that gives some flashes before the main flash to close the pupil so you don't get much red eye. I find that everyone ends up squinting or has their eyes closed when the main flash goes off so I don't use it, but it might work OK for your toddler. There is software with automatic red eye reduction that works well. I prefer to just do it manually if I am going to make a large print.

Pros don't get red eye because they use external flash units that are far away from the lens. If your camera has a hot shoe you can get the same results with an external flash. Bounce flash is especially nice indoors.

Available light photography indoors is almost impossible with most consumer digital cameras. Stabilization helps a lot, but it doesn't correct for subject movement. A tripod works, but it doesn't help for subject movement either. You are pretty much stuck with the flash for stills and need good light for movies. There aren't really any tricks that can overcome the basic limitations of the camera.

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Old Dec 21, 2004, 3:44 PM   #3
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Tell the subject to not look into the lens. Of course, that is if the subject understands you.
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Old Dec 21, 2004, 10:27 PM   #4
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Try shooting as close as you can when using the flash. A primary cause of red-eye is a small angle between the lens, the flash, and the subject. That angle can be made larger by moving the flash away from the lens, or by moving closer to the kid.
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Old Dec 31, 2004, 8:48 PM   #5
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If you want to get a better shot of your child, yet freeze the action, you will need a fast shutter speed (minimum 1/250th).

However, at 1/250th, most indoor lighting will be too weak, resulting in a dark shot.

You have a couple of options:

1) Use a nice external flash and bounce it off the ceiling. Most flashes and cameras synch at about 1/250th or faster so that should freeze your child's acton. A sunpak 383 external flash can be had for about $60.

2) Light up the scene! Turn on all the indoor lights. If that's not enough, I use those little "chicken lamps" (just a cheap reflector with a bulb or better yet a compact flourescent screwed into it). Usually they have a built in clip. Just clip one or two of them to the back of a couple of chairs. That's a $10 lighting solution!

You can do some really creative lighting with chicken lamps. A friend of mine used tin foil stuck on boxes as reflectors. Three chicken lamps and some tin foil! I think he also did some diffuse lighting with some muslin cloth as well !

PS: I like Bill's cure for red eye! However, if you get too close your flash might overexpose the scene so you might have to dial down the flash strength.

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