How to fix red eye in Photoshop [Tip]

You probably have seen many red eye photos. Old photos of relatives with their glowing eyes staring back at your from days long past. You also see them now when you use a flash to click a photo of someone and you get the glowing red eyes in the image. It may be a perfect photo, except for the red eyes. Don’t despair, as there are easy steps to fix red eye in your photos these days.

The Cause

As you know, a person’s pupils, or even an animals, are a natural black or brown and often end up bright red in your photos because of the use of a flash on your camera. When the light from the flash hits their eyes, it then enters the eyes through the pupils and is reflected back by the blood vessels at the back of the eyes.

With modern smartphones, the flash is physically very close to the lens of the camera, and when you take a photo in low light or in the dark, red eye almost always happens. This was a major issue when you were using film for photography, but there is a quick digital solution to this problem. We will use a technique in Adobe Photoshop to fix red eye, but other image editing applications can also be employed if you use the equivalent techniques and tools.

If you wish to completely avoid the red eye effect in your photos then probably stop using the built-in flash of the camera, or the smartphone, while clicking in the dark or in poor light. Some cameras now have a delay that flashes and delays taking the image for a second so that red eye does not occur. You may also try using an external flash if you must, as this will be physically a little distant from the camera lens. Even though this may limit your photography activities or make them a little more troublesome as you need to carry an external flash. At the very least you will not need to fix red eye on the photos you take.

Process to Fix Red Eye

Now, if you are one of those photography enthusiasts that need to use a flash to take night time photos then there is a relevant Red Eye tool incorporated into Adobe Photoshop and other image editing applications. The process to fix red eye is very simple as follows:

  • Open Photoshop and load the image you want to fix red eye for.
  • Press ctrl + J to duplicate the background of the picture to a new layer.
  • From the sidebar, select the Red Eye Tool with the + symbol and the eye.
  • Leave pupil size and darken amounts on their default 50% values.
  • The first option is to click on the red pupil with the red eye tool, Photoshop then selects the affected area.
  • The second option is when you want more control, then you can click and drag a box around the red eye with the red eye tool.
  • Continue applying both options in combination and multiple times until you have removed both red eyes from your photo.

With the image editing tools it is easy to fix red eye issues in any of your photos prior to sharing with family and friends.


Using the process described in this article, you are easily able to fix red eye and so you have the freedom to use your camera or any smartphone device to click your photo in the dark, knowing you can fix any red eye problems later.

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