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Thread: "Empty Eyes"

  1. #1
    Member JoeyAstro's Avatar
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    Default "Empty Eyes"

    Hello,
    I'm not sure if this is the right place to post but please correct me if I'm in the wrong place.
    I went to the Zoo on Wednesday.
    Cloudy, Rainy (on/off), the place was quite dark.
    I'm using the Nikon D60 with the 55-200mm VR lens. No speedlight, just camera flash!
    Mode is set to Auto or Portrait.
    But quite alot of animals photo taken, turn out to have empty green/blue eyes (luminous)?
    Does anyone knows why and how I can avoid making the same mistakes?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Empty Eyes"

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyAstro View Post
    Hello,
    I'm not sure if this is the right place to post but please correct me if I'm in the wrong place.
    I went to the Zoo on Wednesday.
    Cloudy, Rainy (on/off), the place was quite dark.
    I'm using the Nikon D60 with the 55-200mm VR lens. No speedlight, just camera flash!
    Mode is set to Auto or Portrait.
    But quite alot of animals photo taken, turn out to have empty green/blue eyes (luminous)?
    Does anyone knows why and how I can avoid making the same mistakes?
    Thanks!

    Just like you might red eyes with human beings, with some animals you will have the same occurance just that it might not be red but some other colours or a white glow. This is expecially so indoor and in some dark enclosure. Just like human eyes, your eye's iris is very much more dilated as compared to when you are walking about in the day time outdoor. This means that light like from your flash now penetrates the wide open iris and hit the back of the eye ball where you have your retina. As the eye ball is made up of alot of red blood capillaries that is why you get that red eye effect with people. With difference animals you might not reflect back the red of blood vessels but some other coating colours or reflective surface. ( usually more better the the human eyes. Good example..cat. which can see more details in a darken room then human can. So that is why you get that when you shoot at an animal in a dim lit enclosure.

    To avoid this you could use a flash that is not directly on the top of your camera. If you are using your builtin flash from your D60 then you are out of luck apart from not using your flash. A flash that is off the camera will minimse if not eliminate all that eye glow effect. As far as I know not all animal react to the red eye flash mode which is the flash fire off a shot to get the iris of the eye to narrow down before the actual flash is fire to capture the shot. This is done split second. But with some animal this efffect might not be possible if their iris works in a difference way.

    What I try to do is fill in the eyes in Photoshop. But you have to be quite comfortable doing that to accomplish the real effect to make it look real. I do that when I shoot photos of our family dog since this can happen as I might be too lazy to plug in my SB600 flash to shoot those impromtu shots.

    Well that is about more or less the situation you faced.

  3. #3
    Member JoeyAstro's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Empty Eyes"

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  4. #4
    Member JoeyAstro's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Empty Eyes"

    Thanks Sammy888 for you advice
    I've just posted earlier on these error pictures.
    These "Empty Eyes" happens when I photograph Lions, Tigers, Cats ...etc.
    Squirrels, Orang Utans, Pelicans, Birds... were all fine!

  5. #5

    Default Re: "Empty Eyes"

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyAstro View Post
    Thanks Sammy888 for you advice
    I've just posted earlier on these error pictures.
    These "Empty Eyes" happens when I photograph Lions, Tigers, Cats ...etc.
    Squirrels, Orang Utans, Pelicans, Birds... were all fine!
    That's why those retro reflective things they put on the roads were called cat's eyes. It has something to do with their eyes..

    http://www.infoplease.com/askeds/cats-eyes-glow.html

  6. #6
    Senior Member sammy888's Avatar
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    Default Re: "Empty Eyes"

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeyAstro View Post
    Thanks Sammy888 for you advice
    I've just posted earlier on these error pictures.
    These "Empty Eyes" happens when I photograph Lions, Tigers, Cats ...etc.
    Squirrels, Orang Utans, Pelicans, Birds... were all fine!
    ya...well not all animal will have eyes or have that reflective property in their eye..in a way it is evolution to help animals that prowl or need it to hunt or move about in the dark. So these animals have that ability thus we as photographers will have to work around that to capture the shot and avoid those red eyes or empty eyes effect as you call it.

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