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Thread: Glowing eyes in dogs...

  1. #1
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Southern California, USA
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    Glowing eyes in dogs...

    I have been asked by several friends on an Internet dog forum how to reduce or eliminate the glowing eyes of dogs when shooting with a P&S camera with onboard flash. I don't shoot with a P&S so I can't experiment to reduce that eye glow.

    Of course, "glow eye" is caused by the flash being too close to the lens and the flash being reflected back from the retina. The "glow eye" is basically the same as red-eye for humans which is caused by the same set of circumstances. However, it doesn't appear that the red-eye reduction on a P&S will correct the "glowing eye" effect in dogs. Additionally, it doesn't appear that the automatic red-eye correction in many editing programs will recognize the "glowing eye" in dogs and correct it.

    Obviously I told the people that the very best way to eliminate "glowing eye" would be to use a flash that you can bounce. However, that would require a hotshoe on your camera which many P&S cameras do not have.

    Another possibility might be to increase the ambient light enough so that the dog's pupils would contract. However, many people do not have the capability of increasing the ambient light in their homes to that level. An inexpensive home improvement center work light would suffice but, they are very dangerous around animals (and people) due to the heat generated.

    The only way I can think of to eliminate the "glowing eyes" might be to not have the dog looking directly into the camera when shooting the picture. This of course would completely solve the problem but, lots of folks like to have the dogs looking into the camera.

    Is there any way you can think of to bounce or somehow diffuse the on camera flash of a P&S to prevent glowing eye?

    I have tried to reduce glowing eyes in dogs by using the clone stamp in Photoshop. This sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. Additionally, most people have only the editing program that they got with their camera or some other free image editor.

    Is there any way that you can reduce/eliminate glowing eye using a simple editing program?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Epsom, uk
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    Re: Glowing eyes in dogs...

    Alot of software that comes with cameras usually includes red-eye reduction of some sort, have you tried that? Also alot of cameras have a red-eye reduction setting on the flash which may help.

  3. #3

    Re: Glowing eyes in dogs...

    Dogs, cats and other animals have a Tapetum Lucidum near their retina. This bounces back light as red-eye does, but it can vary in colour. I don't think the red-eye editing features in software packages work for dogs for that reason.

    You really need an off-camera flash to avoid it in the first place. Or get the dogs to look slightly away from the lens.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    USA - California

    Re: Glowing eyes in dogs...

    Try taking a couple pictures in rapid sucession. The first flash should cause the dogs pupils to contract. I've come across a few P&S cameras that have this functionality built-in (multiple flashes per exposure). This will help, but not always eliminate the problem.

    You are right about needing to diffuse the flash. The best advice I can give is to simply improvise with whatever is around. Solutions that work better will be big and bulky, especially when compared to the size of a P&S.

    I purchased a swatch book for $4 on amazon of Rosco filters. They're "sampler" sized, but fit perfectly on a flash, and would be more than enough for a P&S flash. The swatch book contains lots of diffusing filters towards the end which would be easy to take onto the cameras flash. It would be a professional an elegant (partial) solution (plus you'll have a bunch of color filters to play with too!). As with all diffusers/filters, you will lose light output from the flash -- and onboard flashes never go that far anyways.

    As far as software, any program that will let you create a selection around the eyes and nuke the color out of them will work. I wouldn't be surprized if even the built-in photo editor with Windows lets you do that. Going the software route may be your only choice in the end, but it never hurts to try a combination of techniques.

    Hope this helps

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    New Zealand
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    Have a guess :)

    Re: Glowing eyes in dogs...

    Quote Originally Posted by carregwen View Post
    I don't think the red-eye editing features in software packages work for dogs for that reason.
    A "quick and dirty" solution is to put a quick select around the pupils - feather it - and then use a hue-saturation-brightness layer to fix it up.

  6. #6

    Re: Glowing eyes in dogs...

    RP - perhaps you could suggest hanging some garlic & a crucifix around the hound's neck before to taking a snap?

    (apols, when I saw the title of this thread, I couldn't resist...)


  7. #7
    PopsPhotos's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Washington (state) USA
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    Re: Glowing eyes in dogs...

    I have approached this problem several ways. Some more successful than others.

    If there is pretty good ambient light and the camera monitors the incoming light during exposure, covering the flash with a piece of white handkerchief can help.

    Putting a piece of white paper under the flash and tilting it slightly up (or left or right, if there is a light coloured wall handy) can help.

    A small flashlight, skinny enough to hold between a couple of fingers (i.e. single AAA) shining into the dog's face is not usually noticable to to the camera.

    Using the same discipline in taking the dog's picture as in taking a human portrait helps the most. The human eye/brain percieves faces differently from the way a camera sees them. Turning the face 10 or 15 degrees away from the lens line of sight results in a much better portrait af the most recognizable features of the dog's face.

    In any case, taking LOTS of pictures is always an answer.


  8. #8

    Re: Glowing eyes in dogs...

    If you go onto Picnik, an online photo editing suite, you will find a red-eye reduction button as well as a "furball" (as they call it) green eye reduction button. I have tried it on my own pooches and it works.

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