Preventing Red Eye when Photographing Nocturnal Mammals

Does anyone have advice as to how to prevent red-eye when photographing nocturnal mammals? I am considering getting a flash bracket, but I am unsure whether it will add enough height to be useful. I currently use a Canon 5D III, 400 IS II DO lens, Speedlite 600ex, and Better Beamer.



  • Brian Keelan

    Hi, Ben, In humans, redeye is generally minor when the distance to the person is less than 30 times the separation of the center of the lens and the center of the flash. For example, a flash bracket giving 6 inches separation would suppress redeye pretty well out to about 15 feet. I’m not sure how much this varies among animals but I think this should give you some idea. Note that increasing the separation does lead to worse shadows in the image, because they now are angled off below or to the side of the subject, rather than being straight behind and hidden.

  • paul carter

    Hi Ben. I use a short bracket (6 inches long) with the flash to the side (with a sync cord) but the flash (Nikon sb900) is not any further from the centre of the lens (300mm f4) than when it is mounted on the camera flash mount. So I still get red-eye and have also been thinking of getting a longer bracket. Regardless of the red-eye the benefits of the side bracket are that the flash gets knocked around less when walking through thickly wooded/shrubby areas, caves and tight culverts (bat photos). And if you are using a headtorch there is no interference. Rgds, Paul Carter.

    • geomalia

      Hi Paul,

      That’s a great point about the headtorch! It would solve the separate problem of trying to point my light and the camera at the same time. What longer brackets are you considering?


      • paul carter

        Hi Ben. I am still looking out for a longer flat bracket, another option is to fit two of the 6″ to 8″ ones together, which I have not yet tried; I suspect that might end badly. Paul

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