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djkothbauer Sep 9, 2003 1:03 AM

(Off topic) Can a camera flash harm my newborn baby's eyes?
My wife just had a baby and I love taking pictures of little Evan. It is really hard to catch him with his eyes open as he is only 2 weeks old so I carry my digital camera around with me everywhere and catch several snaps of him when he does wake up. But everytime I take a picture with the flash on of him with his eyes open he gets very upset and irritated. I am wondering if I am damaging his future eye sight in any way. Does anyone know???

Any information would be greatly apreciated.

PrmseKpr Sep 9, 2003 6:57 AM

Although I am not a medical doctor, I am the father of a 2 year old and a 3 month old. I don't think the flash does any damage, after all I can see just fine and I know my parents took their share of pictures of me. If the flash was damaging, don't you think it would be common knowledge and your pediatrician would have advised you against taking flash photography? Just don't get right in his face with the flash, but of course that rule goes for anyone and not just babies. :)

We don't have any defenses such as claws, brute strength, and sharp teeth, etc... like our friends in the animal kingdom. Your little boy is just fine and his reflexes are reacting to the flash.

My son used to "jump" each time the carseat snapped into position, but he got used to it. My daughter does the same thing, but she seems to be getting used to it now.

Be sure to post some pix of the little guy! You can see mine at:

patrickt Sep 9, 2003 7:39 AM

Probably Not
I would assume that if there were any risk at all the lawyers for the flash companies would have huge warnings posted all over the flash unit. That said, I wouldn't get any closer than you would feel comfortable having a flash go off in your face. Also, a bounce flash would reduce the intensity to the eyes and give a better picture.

djkothbauer Sep 9, 2003 8:42 AM

I guess I just feel really bad when I do take a picture and he just starts crying. First time dad here, so things arent always just posted on the side on buildings or anything.

PrmseKpr, I actually started a website for him and you can see any pictures taken at:

Thanks for the help. It is nice to know that my child will not be blind by the time he is 5. :shock:

dcrawley Sep 9, 2003 9:47 AM

From everything that I have read and my experiences with my now 4-year old, is to try to use as much natural light as possible when snapping pics up close because the light is just so intense for their little eyes. If you cannot turn your flash off, then try to cover it with your free hand.

If you are taking pictures from some distance the flash should be OK. But if all else, if you camera has the capability, is to reduce the flash out put and increase the exposure compenstion.

Tbel Sep 9, 2003 9:56 AM

I know a optomitrist(?spelling?) and when showing him pics of my kids, his only comments were on how they like to see kids with red eye because it indicates a well developed eye. Never once did he express concerns about using a flash.

normc Sep 9, 2003 7:38 PM

Why not use a bounce flash? Or for anout ten bucks you can get a slave flash. I don't like a flash in the face either.

djkothbauer Sep 12, 2003 12:12 PM

Where can you get a 10 dollar slave flash?

normc Sep 12, 2003 1:57 PM

Try CKC POWER, but there are others as well. I have two small units that will flash with the main flash on the camera. The way to do it is to cover your on camera flash with some old film or the like allowing just enough light to leak out to trigger the other flash.

If your canera does not have an adjustable flash you can fashion a white card to the camera with velcro to bounce the flash. My card is a heavy peice of illustration board about 5x6 inches and I have in my case all the time,

Bob Benson Sep 15, 2003 12:28 PM

Get inexpensive slave flashes here...
Go to the Rollbar site: This page lists several very inexpensive flashes, some of which can do bounce. If you already have a standard flash that doesn't do bounce, check out their "Shop for Triggers and Connectors" page. They list some connectors that allow tiltup for bounce. HTH. PatiO

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