Using Lens Flare Creatively

A recent trend among many professional photographers is the use of lens are. Fortunately, for those of you who want to use lens are creatively, it’s quite easy to do and it’s not so hard to add this technique to your list of photography tricks. Here are a few considerations that will help you achieve your best lens are capabilities without breaking a sweat.Lens flare happens when stray light reflects on some of the internal elements of your lens. This stray light can create light streaks, ‘sunbursts’ or reduction in contrast and saturation. Through most of the history of photography, lens flare has been a maligned anomaly. However, lens flare can be used as a creative tool to enhance an already good image.To enhance your images and to have lens flare to show up in your images, try these tricks:

Shoot into the sun

Lens flare is caused by strong rays of light hitting your lens directly and causing a slight sun burst. Capitalising on the direction of your light is the key to capturing lens flare.

Adjust your subjects position

Place your subject in front of you, with their back to the sun. Your subject will be backlit as though you were capturing a silhouette. You can control your creative goals to some degree by moving your subject so that some (or all) of the light is behind him/her. Or you can simply adjust your own position so the sun is angled behind your subject.

Take multiple photos

Lens flare can be unpredictable so, set up your subject and shoot multiple images as you make slight adjustments to your camera’s angle. This will change the overall position and strength of the lens flare, which will give you multiple images to choose from.

Shoot at an angle

Because you want an image with lens flare you need to keep in mind your camera position to the sun as this will largely depend on what time of day you shoot. In the mornings or evenings, you will have an easier time of shooting directly into the sun. However, at midday this changes and you’ll need to position yourself fairly low to the ground in order to shoot into the sun.

Watch your focus

Your camera will typically focus on the object best lit in your frame. Shooting into the sun will make it more challenging for your camera to focus on your subject. You may need to switch from auto focus to manual focus.As great as lens flare can be under the right conditions, there are still cases where it will detract from your image rather than add to it. As such, you don’t want lens flare to cover your subject’s face, especially their eyes. Nor do you want your subject to be so washed out that they become unrecognisable. Although there’s a lot of creative choice involved in your decision to include lens flare, a great use of lens flare is going to come down to what looks right to you.

Getting great lens are can be a little tricky and take a bit of practice and tweaking. We hope that these tips will give you the best opportunities to get awesome are goodness in your photographs.

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About the Author: Matt Cooper

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