On a recent trip to Madagascar, we were able to capture some interesting animals during the night, where of course we used flash. The following photo is not made by me...


...but we have many with the same problem as in that photo: yellow eyes. Applying standard red eye post processing on it results in light grey, which looks equally unnatural as yellow.

I was wondering if anybody knows of an easy way to post process this into a natural look, other than of course manual painting, which is a painful exercise. One thing I have tried so far is selective color replacement, but that still is a very diligent process

5 Answers 5


in Photoshop cs6:

Make a hue sat layer with a mask of the eyes on it. in the yellow channel try lowering the saturation and brightness. Maybe even pushing the yellow into a more neutral color

  • Thank you, although that does look like selective color replacement, it seems to work better compared to how I do such a thing in LR.
    – Fer
    Nov 30, 2012 at 7:57
  • No problem, is the goal to make that bright yellow almond a dark brown or black color?
    – underarock
    Nov 30, 2012 at 16:26
  • Yes, the goal would be to make it black, but not 100% black.
    – Fer
    Nov 30, 2012 at 19:22

You can use a program like The GIMP or Photoshop to burn into the Y channel in the eye area.

On GIMP's page, there's an old tutorial that sort of follows the process.
However, instead of using the Channels directly, you should Decompose the image ([Colors]->[Components]->[Decompose]->"CMYK") and work on the resulting yellow-k layer.
When you're done, just Recompose.

Photoshop's menus vary, but it must have something very similar.

  • Thank you, although I'm a PS user, I highly appreciate your answer.
    – Fer
    Nov 30, 2012 at 7:57
  • A PS workflow should be very similar (if not identical). Do let us know what worked best for you.
    – Roflo
    Nov 30, 2012 at 15:46

For Mac OSX fans, GraphicConverter has a RedEyeRemoval tool. You can configure the tool to be essentially an "AnyUglyColorEyeRemoval" tool by eyedrop-sampling the retina color in your photo and feeding that to the removal algorithm.


I would use Photoshop to zoom in on the eyes, select the areas of the eyes that you want to remove the yellow from...after making your selection, go to "hue/saturation", choose yellow, and bring down saturation to get the yellow out.


http://www.paintshoppro.com/en/pages/red-eye/ Here is a tool in PaintShop Pro that fixes red eyes but it also applies to your problem with yellow eyes as well as animal eyes, this can fix your problem :) Good luck!

  • 2
    Welcome to Photography! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – scottbb
    Feb 14, 2017 at 18:32

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