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Post Production Tips

How to Fix Red Eye with the Red Eye Correction Tool in Lightroom 4

By Pye Jirsa on March 29th 2013


In this video from our Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD, we will explain what causes “red eye” in your subject’s eyes and how we can fix this problem with the Red Eye Correction Tool in Lightroom 4. Although it is important to know how to use this tool, you will rarely use it if you are shooting with DSLR cameras and off camera lighting. Instead, “red eye” normally occurs with point-and-shoot cameras. We will discuss why that is in this article as well.

Watch the Video

What Causes “Red Eye?”

When we are shooting with a DSLR camera and off camera lighting or a hot shoe mounted flash, this greatly reduces the likelihood of “red eye” in your images. This is because the flash is not placed very closely to the camera lens, unlike point-and-shoot cameras. With a point-and-shoot camera, your flash and lens are close together. Now that we understand why “red eye” occurs more with point-and-shoot cameras, we need to know what causes “red eye.” When you fire a camera that has a flash close to the lens, the light will go directly into your subject’s eyes. The light will then bounce around the inside of the retina of the eye. Inside the retina are blood vessels that are nourishing the eye. Because of the blood vessels, the reflected light will come out red, therefore causing “red eye” in your images.

Using the Red Eye Correction Tool

Since “red eye” is not a common problem we need to fix in Lightroom 4, there is no hot key for the Red Eye Correction Tool. Instead, you need to select the tool by actually going to the Adjustments Toolbar. The Adjustments Toolbar is found on the right side of Lightroom, underneath the Histogram Panel.


Once you have selected the Red Eye Correction Tool, zoom into your image by hitting “Shift” and clicking on the eyes of your subject. Click over the “red eye” area and adjust the size of the Red Eye Correction Tool to match the size of the “red eye.” To adjust the size of the tool, simply use the mouse wheel on your mouse. When you click on the “red eye,” the Red Eye Correction Tool will pull out the “red eye” in your image. In our example below, there actually was no “red eye” in our image because the image was shot with a DSLR and off camera lighting. However, you can see that the Red Eye Correction Tool is selected in the Adjustments Toolbar and the tool is hovered over the pupil in the image.


Conclusion & Learn More!

The Red Eye Correction Tool is a very simple and easy tool to use. However, as we mentioned before, you will probably only need to use this tool with images shot on point-and-shoot cameras.

We hope you enjoyed this article and video excerpt from the Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD. Stay tuned for our next article and episode!

The Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD is a 14 hour video workshop turning any Lightroom novice into a complete master of Lightroom 4 in no time! The Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop can be purchased by itself, or within the Lightroom 4 Workshop Collection which also contains our award winning and industry standard Lightroom 4 Preset System, as well as the Lightroom 4 Workflow System.

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Thanks for posting

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  2. co-sleeping

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  3. wil

    First, thanks for the great info you guys provide!

    RED EYE: Please don’t assume that what is not a problem for some isn’t a giant problem for others. Perhaps the RedEye tool isn’t commonly used by some people (or even the majority). However, when it IS needed, going back and forth on multiple images to enable/ disable the correction is a HUGE pain. If no one needs it, then why have as an option at all? I’ve been enjoying Lightroom since version 3, when I switched to a Mac. Prior to that, I Loved, ACDSee for it’s ease of use and customization. One of my biggest complaints about Lightroom from then until now, is not having the option to customize which “shortcut keys” I preferred.

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