17 Creative Uses of Lens Flare (And How to Get The Effect Yourself)

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For many years in photography, lens flare was actively avoided by photographers. Flare, which is basically light scattered within the lens due to unplanned reflection and lens impurities, was considered as something that ruined a photograph. Equipment like lens hoods were invented to help prevent it. But times change and so do fashions.

These days, not only to many photographers not mind some lens flare, they actively seek to get it to add some creativity to their shots. And, to be fair, quite often it looks pretty cool. Check out these great examples of creative lens flare and look at the resources at the end to find out how to shoot with or without lens flare in your own shots.

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Metallica at Rock Werchter 2009 ♫♪ by crsan – christianholmer.com, on Flickr

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3583/5710664873_9925b6401d.jpg

grass and flare by TeryKats, on Flickr

http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1097/1309205003_5aedf173b4.jpg

Jackie Martinez (#28440) by mark sebastian, on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6194/6151133140_7584c4cc7e.jpg

Kissed By the Sun by MR photography., on Flickr

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Autumn's Light by MR photography., on Flickr

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2464/3965367650_4331d79e5e.jpg

Alanna Kolette (#91896) by mark sebastian, on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6177/6146166461_ed964f83ea.jpg

Flare. by Matteo Paciotti | Photography, on Flickr

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2477/3639368302_607332651d.jpg

handlebars by eflon, on Flickr

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Hip by Illusive Photography, on Flickr

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Untitled by TheRoyceNg, on Flickr

http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6142/5934595421_4e383c2452.jpg

Daisy DOF by Gareth Brooks, on Flickr

Lens Flare Links and Tutorials

About Author

Rob is the founder of Light Stalking. His love for photography pushed him into building this fantastic place, and you can get to know him better here

Excellent examples of lens flare. I have been exploring lens flare on the iphone, and I would be interested in doing a guest post.

By the way I follow your posts, especially the weekly ones on what’s interesting in photography. Thanks for sharing.

Lens flare looks great, but I agree – it’s best when it happens naturally. I’ve found iphone photos can accidentally end up with amazing lens flare effects (due to the crappy lens I guess!) Here’s an iphone one of mine http://www.site.mwpics.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/IMG_3728.jpg

And there’s a really nice one in this gallery – in fact, when I look through my galleries I realise I seem to use it quite a lot.
http://www.site.mwpics.com.au/galleries/rural-and-garden-photography/

Like tilting the camera and other goofy shenanigan’s, this is hopefully a passing fad. I’m surprised that it is still being employed.

To quote C.J. Chilvers,

“If you can’t say what you need to say in a photograph without
heaping layers of software filters or resorting to the latest
trends in post processing, you’re probably not saying much
of anything.”

—C.J. Chilvers

“When someone quotes a person most of the planet has never heard of and really doesn’t have any credibility anyway, just to get their point across, you’re probably not saying much either”
Tom Dinning ( Light Stalking forum, 2012)

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