Section 8.7. Red-Eye

8.7. Red-Eye

Red-eye is actually light reflected back from your subject's eyes. The bright light of your camera's flash passes through the pupil of each eye, illuminating the blood-red retinal tissue at the back of the eye. This illuminated tissue , in turn , is reflected back into the camera lens. Red-eye problems worsen when you shoot pictures in a dim room, because your subject's pupils are dilated wider, allowing even more light from the flash to illuminate the retina .

If it's too late to avoid red-eye to begin with (by using an external flash, for example), and people's eyes are already glowing demonically, there's always iPhoto's Red-Eye tool. It lets you alleviate red-eye problems by digitally removing the offending red pixels. Here's how:

  1. Open your photo for editing .

    Change the zoom setting, if necessary, so that you have a close-up view of the eye with the red-eye problem.

  2. Click the Red-Eye button .

    If you're editing in a separate window, as shown in Figure 8-5, you may have to use the >> menu at the right end of the toolbar to find the Red-Eye command.

  3. Use the crosshair pointer to click inside each red- tinted eye .

    With each click, iPhoto neutralizes the red pixels, painting the pupils solid black.

    Of course, this means that everybody winds up looking like they have black eyes instead of red onesbut at least they look a little less like the walking undead.

8.8. B & W, Sepia

The B & W (Black and White) and Sepia tools, meanwhile, don't correct anything. They simply drain the color from your photos. B & W converts them into moody grayscale images (a great technique if you're going for that Ansel Adams look); Sepia repaints them entirely in shades of antique brown (as though they were 1865 daguerreotypes).

Open a photo in Edit mode, and then click the Black & White or Sepia buttons . That's all there is to it. If you change your mind, you can use Edit Undo Convert to B&W to restore the color immediately, or choose Photos Revert to Original at any point to return to your original file.

Tip: If you don't see the B & W or Sepia buttons, you can always Control-click the photo and choose the corresponding command from the shortcut menu.

Figure 8-5. Top: When you click the Red-Eye tool, a pop-up message informs you of the next step: Click carefully inside each affected eye.
Bottom: Truth be told, the Red-Eye tool doesn't know an eyeball from a pinkie toe. It just turns any red pixels black, regardless of what body part they're associated with. Friends and family members look more attractiveand less like Star Trek charactersafter you touch up their phosphorescent red eyes with iPhoto.

8.9. Rotate

Unless your digital camera has a built-in orientation sensor, iPhoto imports all photos in landscape orientation (wider than they are tall). The program has no way of knowing if you turned the camera 90 degrees when you took your pictures. Once you've imported the photos, just select the sideways ones and rotate them into position (if you didn't do so during your first slideshow, as described in Chapter 7).

Remember, you don't have to be in Edit mode to rotate photos. You can select thumbnail images when you're in Organize mode and then use one of the following methods to turn them right-side up:

  • Choose Photos Rotate Counter Clockwise (or Clockwise).

  • Click the Rotate button at the bottom of the main iPhoto window. (Option-click this button to reverse the direction of the rotation.)

  • Press -R to rotate selected photos counter-clockwise, or Option- -R to rotate them clockwise.

  • Control-click a photo and choose Rotate Clockwise (or Counter Clockwise) from the shortcut menu.

Tip: After importing a batch of photos, you can save a lot of time and mousing if you select all the thumbnails that need rotating first (by -clicking each, for example). Then use one of the rotation commands above to fix all the selected photos in one fell swoop.

Incidentally, clicking Rotate (or pressing -R) generally rotates photos counter-clockwise, while Option-clicking that button (Option- -R) generally rotates them clockwise. If you want, you can swap these directions by choosing iPhoto Preferences and changing the Rotate setting on the General tab of the dialog box.

Note: When you rotate an image saved in GIF format in iPhoto, the resulting rotated picture is saved as a JPEG file. The original GIF is stored unchanged in an Originals folder in the iPhoto Library folder.