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How to Remove Red Eye From Photos in Photoshop

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One of the most common edits to do when retouching your digital photographs for digital scrapbooking is removing red eye. In this short tutorial we will share some ways so you can learn how to remove red eye from photos in Photoshop quickly and easily.

What Causes Red Eye in My Photos?

Red eye is typically caused in photos due to the light reflecting on the eyes and back into the lens of the camera. Sometimes when light reflects, especially in settings when the flash is used, it can cause this reflection and then in your photos cause the person to appear to have red-eyes.

Here are some ways you can reduce red eye from happening in your photos:

1. Take pictures in natural light if possible. Natural sunlight generally is the best optimal lighting for photographs to avoid red eye. If is night or otherwise not possible, try to brighten the room by using more lights. I have found that natural light lightbulbs, available at most retail and home improvement stores, can help make dimly lit rooms have better lighting and thus reduce the red eye from happening.

2. Check Your Camera Settings: Many modern cameras and smart phones now have a “red eye reduction” setting. Check your owners manual or the manufacturer’s website to learn if your camera has this setting.

3. Don’t Look Directly at the Camera Lens: If those who are getting their picture taken look a little to the side or above/below the lens, this can help reduce the reflection of light in the eyes. Many people do not realize they are looking at the lens when they are getting photographed.

4. DSLR? Try an external flash: If you have a digital SLR camera, you can use an external flash. This works well in indoor settings. The reason this works is because the light from the flash will be farther away from the camera lens, therefore reduce the reflection in the lens and the person’s eyes.

While following these tips will help you avoid and reduce the amount of red eye in your photos, even when all the best precautions are taken, you may occasionally still need to do some photo retouching. The good news? It is extremely easy to do!

How to Remove Red Eye in Photos

The first thing to do is open the photograph is Photoshop.

Once you have the image, Go to File -> Save As and save it as something else, such as “Photo1-copy” so that you can always reopen and revert back to the original photograph if necessary.

Next, zoom in on the picture as much as possible – at least 400%, though if on a retina screen you may need to go 800% or more.

Next, go to the red-eye tool in the toolbar palette.

Next, with the photograph selected as the active layer, all you need to do is click on the area that is red. You may need to click once or twice to get all of the red out. Be careful not to over click – this can sometimes cause the area to appear darkened or become a different color.

And that’s it! Red eye all gone in just a couple of easy simple clicks! Zoom back out to 100% and no one will even guess you had made the red eye correction in Photoshop using the red eye tool!


I hope you found this tutorial helpful – and of course if you have any tips or suggestions or another method you’d like to share, comments are always welcome!

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