Bye bye red-eye

A small UK firm is seeing off the scourge of flash photography. Leo Lewis discovers the digital fix
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The Independent Online

Red-eye, the bane of amateur photographers across the globe and an £8bn annual waste of film, is shortly to be consigned to history.

Red-eye, the bane of amateur photographers across the globe and an £8bn annual waste of film, is shortly to be consigned to history.

According to industry figures, almost 30 per cent of all photographs are ruined by the reflection effect, and the problem has been a century-long blight on an industry that now has worldwide sales of £28bn a year. Attempts to reduce red-eye with so-called "pre-flashes" have been disappointing.

But a small UK hi-tech company has taken advantage of the digital photography revolution to produce software that eliminates it completely. The group, Pixology, is believed to be just weeks away from striking a massive deal with Fuji to have its product installed as standard in digital cameras.

The complex software identifies the areas that have reflected the flash and automatically restores them to the original colour. Yuval Yashiv, the group's chief executive, said: "No more wasted pictures."

Pixology, founded with venture capital from 3I and backing from Lord Young of Graffham, a former Tory minister, also wants to change the way digital pictures are processed. It has struck a deal with Hewlett-Packard that will allow the public to send their digital pictures to developers via the internet, and then collect proper prints of their favourite snaps.

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