The Red Eye Special - Stroboframe
Somewhere out there right now is a Canon, Nikon, or Pentax shooter sitting in front of a computer wishing that they could go to bed. They have been sitting up for 4 hours with a batch of photos that they took at the dance school graduation or the big wedding and they are poking away with a mouse at the faces of their subjects. They are patiently placing the cross-hairs of the red-eye removal tool onto each little face and clicking the right button.
120 children at the graduation. 12 photos of each plus the 5 group photos. That's 2040 little faces times two eyes apiece. 4080 clicks. Click. Click. Click...
Let us not decry the power and utility of the red-eye removal tools. You'll find them everywhere - Photoshop, Aperture, Lightroom, Picasa, etc. Set them up carefully and target the glowing retinas and they do a good job. But when you are using them for 2 hours you eventually are overcome by a desire for strong drink. After the 4th hour that becomes a desire for a cup of drain cleaner.
The answer to the dilemma is not to get the red-eye in the first place. If you are using a footling little compact camera that tries to strobe out a pre-flash burst of light in an effort to get the iris of the eye to contract, good luck. You can't do it over a long distance and it rarely works anyway.
What you need if you are putting out a decent amount of light over a distance - like the stage photography - is to get that flash up and away from the center-line of the lens. You need a Stroboframe bracket.
I would suggest either one of the Press-T or Pro-T style or one of the new Pro-Digital Folding Flip. In all these cases you have a whole range of options for mounting the flash on the top bar - Stroboframe make a universal holder or you can screw the Nikon or Canon coiled extension cords straight on. Then you either command the flash via a pop-up or just go straight ahead with the cord. When you're in landscape orientation the flash is centered over the lens but high up, and when you move to portrait orientation you simple flip the top bar to bring the flash right up to the same position.
You are well and truly way from the center line of the lens axis and your flash as it goes out will not reflect back as a red eye.
We've got a wide range of Stroboframe here in the shop and can fit out pretty nearly any camera and lens combination you use. Come along and experiment and say good-bye to red-eye forever.
Note: That does not apply to early morning flights to Sydney or Melbourne from Perth Airport. They are still going to produce red eyes. Visine.