So this happens to moose, he gets one blue eye and one red eye when we use flash! I can't figure out why he gets two different colored eyes, so because of it, we only take pictures of him with no flash.

I googled it but I'm not finding anything as to why he has two different colors in flash photos. lol.

anyone know why?

Editing because I can't reply on my phone:
I was curious too. His eyes always photographed like this. (with flash). He was at the vet a few months ago because I thought he scratched his one eye and it was watering and he was having difficulty opening it, so they looked at both his eyes with that liquid to "detect" scratches and shut off the light and looked at them with a light? and he didn't have one, but gave us antibiotics and eye drops just in case, which we used for the prescribed time.

Edit 2: also, I just read about the flash being the way on the left. This is my camera.

I also looked up info on the condition, it's a rare type of cancer called retinoblastoma that occurs in children before age 6 and dogs and is shown by a milky white appearance in photos.

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I suspect there may be something wrong with his right eye. How 'bout emailing that to your vet?

I don't think it's the camera, unless the flash is way off on the left and some geometry gives more reflection in the right eye, but this would not happen all the time.

I've heard of something like this revealing an undiagnosed eye condition in a human child.

Photos of dogs are often better with no flash anyway, esp. with these little digital cameras, the flash is too close to the lens. I miss the detachable flash of my old SLR. With the flash only a few inches away from the lens, you get no redeye and some shadows on faces. Sometimes a little daylight fill-in flash is nice, but even indoors I usually crank the ISO to 200-400 and use ambient light.

Hope it's nothing serious.

In blue merle dogs the red eye reflection is due to the lack of tapetum in the blue eye, which is normal. However, since both his eyes are brown I would be concerned that maybe something is wrong with that eye. There are things like tapetal degeneration and tapetal hyperreflectivity, but I'm really not familiar with them.

Hi Krystal,


Here's how to fix red eye


1. the picture was taken in low light situation, the pupils are dilated. Turn on the lights.


2. use the S3000 in camera red-eye fix


3. use the S3000 in camera red-eye reduction


4. if you really need to use flash, use your palm to bounce the light to the ceiling or to a wall, better if you have a piece of white paper to diffuse the flash


if you want to make sure and rule out eye problem, take a proper headshot face to lense, don't freak out :)

I actually called the vet (Because this threads replies freaked me out, and sorry for the delayed response. I was really busy with the holidays and then I had to get two teeth extractions right after new years day ><)  The vet said it should be completely normal and if we notice any change in his eye (blue/green-ish color turning to white, and any physical changes in his eye) to give him a call and he'll see him. I haven't figured out how to use red eye yet but I tried the palm thing and it actually worked. We don't HAVE to use flash (unless it's like nighttime) which I took that picture of him at nighttime. but I did more research on my own and it said the color that they eyes "Bounce back" is also indicative of their fur color. Here's the info I found.  after I read it I felt a little better because the right eye on moose is the one where has some black fur right below his ear, where as the other side does not have it as much. 



Reflex Colors The consistently red color of the human reflex derives from the red blood pigment hemoglobin. Light from the flash picks up the red from blood vessels encountered during its bounce off the retina, just as reflected sunlight picks up the color of a red sweater. Why, then, do animal reflexes come in so many other colors and seldom in red? The answer lies in the tapetum lucidum, a highly reflective, variably pigmented membrane backing the retina in animals with good..., cats and most domestic animals) but entirely absent in humans. The tapetum lies directly behind the retinal photoreceptors. Nova's The Nocturnal Eye nicely illustrates the anatomy. The tapetum enhances low-light vision by giving retinal photoreceptors a 2nd crack at any incoming light that manages to escape absorption (detection) on the first pass. In dogs, at least, an additional boost may come from tapetal fluorescence, which shifts incoming wavelengths into better alignment with the peak spectral sensitivities of the photoreceptors. Tapetal pigments surely come into play here. When tapetal pigment is present, its color dominates the color of a given animal's reflex. Tapetal color loosely follows coat color. For example, black coats and green reflexes tend to go together, as seen in our border collie above. Most dogs and cats show a blue reflex as their eyes mature in the first 6-8 months of life. Pigment-poor animals like blue point Siamese cats with no tapetal pigmentation show a red reflex for the same reason humans do.

That's really interesting, but I still don't understand why Moose's right eye is so different.  If he was a blue merle, it might be less surprising (although the eye color we see is the iris, not the retina or tapetum).  What does he look like at night, by flashlight, at a distance, to your naked eye?  Do both eyes look the same to you? My guess is that his tapetum is different in one eye, both eyes' vision is the same in daylight, but one is better at night.

That link on redeye reduction is good -- funny, I hadn't thought about having my assistant brandish the dog treat AWAY from the camera so the dog isn't looking into the flash.

If you ever have a really good photo marred by redeye and your photoeditor program isn't removing it well, you can remove manually it in PhotoShop (instructions are posted in the Corgi Photographers group):  Magnify it, draw a black dot the exact size of the pupil, paste it over the redeye.  Then look at the photo and it's light sources, guess where a reflection should be, magnify again, and paste (or draw pixel-by-pixel) a tiny white dot on the big black dot to simulate a relection. Helps to have a kid show you how to do this stuff.  Only an exceptional photo is worth this much work.  Better to shoot ambient light at ISO 200-400+; can get grainy but still good enough for most of our snapshots.

Or you could use the Magic Wand tool to select the red eye and replace the red with the color from the other pupil.

Or  you could make both eyes vampire-red and explain that this is how he looks when the moon is full.  :)

Sorry if my comment alarmed you -- I'd worried about that -- I did read once about a human child's eye problem first noticed in flash photos.

Hmmm... you know, that is odd. I've not seen that too often, photographing a lot of different dogs. The only time I really see the difference is on the blue eyed dogs and cats, like John said.


My cat here has two very different colored eyes when I've messed up a flash. One is yellow, one's blue. Now, I can say that my cat has herpes  and has had major damage to both eyes as a kitten -- one eye has more scarring than the other, he's totally night blind in one eye, has limited vision, and he's not keen on being in the dark because of it.  Let's see if I can find a picture of him here to show you what I'm talking about.


This is a good one, and one of the reasons I've kept this photo. See the irregularities in his eyes?


Kind of funky, huh? I would almost wonder if your dog doesn't have some slight scarring on one eye from an early injury that doesn't bother him vision wise in the slightest, just changed the surface of the eye. The other thing that it might be is a little blue speck of pigment in that eye that is entirely unrecognizable for what it is. I've seen a brown-eyed blue merle flash red on the brown side because she had one little blue speck in there close up to her pupil. There are some blue eyed Pems, it's totally possible?


One of the flash tricks also is to bounce your flash off a piece of paper. :) I did that a lot until I bought a high end flash I could rotate and bounce and remote trigger. :)


Best of luck! :D

Thank you for the advice! I actually found THIS picture of Moose's dads (on my fiance's dads facebook) and his dad has two complete blue eyes with flash, so maybe it could be genetics?? I don't have a picture of his mom with flash though.

I know this thread is almost a year old... Just wanted to add (off topic) that the last picture posted is actually my Bentley's dad too! What a coincidence!

Such a beautiful boy. My Dino as a puppy had a small black spot near his mouth but when he got older  the black spot when away. I wonder if that is common?

Try taking a picture with the camera upside down.  If it is the camera flash, then the discoloration should switch sides ; )


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