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TOPIC: Steel-eye Reduction from flash photography

Steel-eye Reduction from flash photography 1 year 2 months ago #1339

  • David Newell
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Having just spent time in SE Queensland, I have taken many photos in the rain-forest of Lamington National Park using a flash. Many of the photos have turned out reasonable with no adjustments for "steel-eye" required. However a number have the steel-eye that occurs with flash photography. My technique to deal with this is to open the image in Photoshop, create a new layer, using the eyedropper tool choose an appropriate colour to draw over the eye, leaving any highlights to retain a sense of depth/life! It does not achieve natural gradients that occur in natural light. I have attached cropped before and after
for comparison: "Frogmouth, Tawny 2017-07-26" has no eye adjustments while "Frogmouth, Tawny 2017-07-26-Edit" I have attempted to reduce the "purple haze" in the eye created by the flash. However it looks somewhat unnatural. I did attempt to use the Lightroom Red-eye tool but it could not be used as it was "Unable to find red eye". Selecting Lightroom "pet eye" resulted in the centre of the eye being blue and the outside yellow turned black.

Any recommendations on an approach that could be used would be appreciated.
David Newell
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Steel-eye Reduction from flash photography 1 year 2 months ago #1340

  • Bruce Terrill
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Hi David,
I know that I'm going to get my head bitten off by somebody here, but I think that your first picture shows more 'red eye' than 'steel eye', I say this because I have a close friend who photographs owls continually in the dark and the shots of his that I have seen being 'steel eye' are a real bluey-gray coloration with no red present?
Others might disagree?
Bruce

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Steel-eye Reduction from flash photography 1 year 2 months ago #1341

  • David Newell
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Bruce - thanks for your comment.
Not by me. What I find very interesting with flash photography in very poor light conditions is the different response of the eye for different species. Some show little effect while others range from red-eye to "steel-blue". For either of the latter effects I am looking for an approach to remove the flash effect while maintaining a "graded" look of the iris. The way I am doing it, if you zoom in on the eye, it looks like a black hole with a flash of light (to give the sparkle). On the full image it is obviously less noticeable. I have photographed both a Barn Owl and Southern Boobook on the Strzelecki Creek while spotlighting one night that I am still to process and would like to use a better approach.
Cheers
David

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