Hack 32 Take Flash Shots of People Who Blink

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Every family has one: the person whose eyes are closed every time you use the flash to take a picture. Here's how to get those eyes open.

Some of the most beautiful people take the worst photographs, especially if the flash is turned on. It's almost like they have a sixth sense as to when the flash is going to fire and, in defense of their sensitive eyes, they close their lids.

For years, I struggled to find an answer to this problem. Then, one day, by accident, the solution appeared. And, of all things, the secret is that otherwise silly function: Red Eye Reduction mode.

That's right, the very flash mode that I've derided in pervious parts of this book is the shining savior for blinkers. Here's how it works.

The idea behind Red Eye Reduction mode is to shine a light, or a series of light bursts, into the subject's eyes, causing the iris to constrict and thereby reducing the chances of red eye. It really doesn't work that well. But for people who are sensitive to the flash and close their eyes when it fires, Red Eye Reduction mode is a godsend.

This mode causes them to blink during the preshot flashes. Then, when the actual picture is taken, they've opened their eyes. True, this is an extreme measure, because you still lose spontaneity as Red Eye Reduction mode does its thing, but as a last-ditch effort for those people whom you just can't capture with their eyes open, this trick can save your night.