Why Do My Dogs Eyes Have a “Ghostly Green Glow” in Photographs?

I know it’s kinda creepy when you see ghostly green eyes shining back at you in pictures, but there is a reasonable explanation. Dogs, cats and most nocturnal animals have a special layer of cells in or behind their retinas call tapetum lucidum which acts like a mirror in reflective light and helps them see better at night. “Eye shine” or “ghostly green glow” happens when the camera flash or any light reflects off the retinas and bounce back into the camera.  This happens to humans, light reflects off our blood vessels and we get a “devilish glow” better known as “red eye“.
The way to avoid this problem is to not have the light source directly above your camera, which unfortunately is where most built-in flashes are located. So try shooting at an angle, use off-camera flashes or avoid flash all together.

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4 Responses to Why Do My Dogs Eyes Have a “Ghostly Green Glow” in Photographs?

  1. Montana says:

    Thanks so much. I noticed my 9 year old Papillon’s eyes being ALIEN green this year in many of the photos I took, and it never happened before. I was worried he had something wrong w/ his sight. Thanks.

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  3. bellabbaur says:

    Thank you for this information, Kris. I have often wondered and finally googled it to find your answer and your BLOG. I’ll be following you now. Please do the same if you like mine. Thanks so much. Germaine and Bella.

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