As the days get shorter and Halloween creeps up, I’m reminded of how much I despise night blindness. I shared some stories about night blindness in an earlier post, When Darkness Comes. But today I’m not in the mood for an in-depth emotional analysis of how night blindness affects my life. Today I want to amuse myself (and hopefully others) with a strange result of a faulty retina – spooky red eyes in photographs. I’m easy to spot in the below picture – just look for the wild red eyes!
I’ve often wondered why my eyes are almost always red in pictures using a flash. Even when other people in the picture have normal-colored eyes, mine are red. When others’ eyes look red, mine look crazy red. I’ve always thought that it must have something to do with my night blindness, but wasn’t entirely sure how it’s all connected. Curiosity led me online to learn what the experts are saying about this red-eye effect and photography.com sums it up nicely, “Red eye will appear in pictures if the camera’s flash hits eye’s retina or if the subject’s iris doesn’t have enough time to sufficiently contract. While this phenomenon can be irritating to photographers, ophthalmologists use it regularly to conduct eye exams, specifically centered on the retina.” Wikipedia gives a more thorough explanation of the red-eye effect in case you’re interested.
Thanks to photo editing software, the red-eye effect doesn’t actually ruin my favorite pictures. But it’s not like people take the time to edit the red-eye out of pics before posting on Facebook or printing off copies for friends, so I do feel a little self-conscious when I see my spooky red eyes in photos. As you can see in the below pictures, my two sisters on the right that don’t have RP do not have red eyes, but on the left, Joy and I look a bit demon-possessed. Rest assured, we are not possessed.
If technology doesn’t bring us a cure for RP, I hope it can at least develop better amateur flash photography methods.