Lens flare is a problem with which image makers have long battled.
Have you ever been in a movie theater and looked up at the screen to notice that your eyes are not adjusting to the change in light?
In amateur videos, it can be a mistake. But it can also be used as a creative choice, and we’ll show you how.
What Is Lens Flare?
This is called lens flare, and it’s a common occurrence. We’ll explore what lens flare is for those who may be unfamiliar with it.
Lens flare is a type of lens artifact that occurs when light reflects off the surfaces inside the camera and projects out into your images.
It can be used as an artistic effect, but it’s often seen as a problem to remove from photos and videos. Lens flare is sometimes mistakenly called “ghosting.”
What Is Lens Flare?
Lens flare happens when a bright light or point of light enters the camera lens and reflects off internal components, such as the aperture blades.
The result is an effect that looks like spots in front of your eyes when you look at something bright.
Lens flares can happen to any photographer, whether they’re using a DSLR camera with interchangeable lenses or their phone’s built-in camera.
The term “lens flare” refers to the bright light that appears in images. Lens flare occurs when a bright light source, like the sun or an artificial light, reflects off of and onto the camera’s lens.
This causes unwanted distortion and glare on your photos. What do you do about it?
Luckily, there are ways to reduce this issue! There are three steps for reducing lens flares:
1. Rotate your camera so that the offending light is no longer hitting directly on your lens.
2. Use a filter – such as a UV filter – which blocks out some of these rays.
3. Adjusting exposure settings (such as shutter speed).
Telephoto lenses, in particular, can amplify lens flare. But, first, let’s ask an important question: is lens flare actually bad?
Are Lens Flares Bad?
Lens flares are often considered a bad thing in film. In fact, some cinematographers go so far as to avoid shooting towards the sun because of how difficult they can be to remove from an image.
But is it really true that lens flares always have negative consequences? Let’s explore what those consequences might be and if there are any benefits at all to them.
Have you ever wondered if lens flares are bad or not? I have too, and after some research I can confidently say they’re not.
Lens flares are just a natural occurrence in photography that we should embrace as part of the process.
Have you seen images with a lot of lens flare and thought it was done on purpose? Well, it probably wasn’t! It’s often an unintentional effect caused by light reflecting off different surfaces which then shines into your camera lens.
As photographers, we need to remember this is just the nature of how things work and shouldn’t be something to avoid at all costs.
With the resurgence of retro films and TV shows, lens flares seem to be “in” again. But are they really worth it?
Lens flares can make your footage look less professional, so before you use them in your next project consider these pros and cons.
Lens Flare Pros
They can give off a nostalgic feeling that is reminiscent of The Breakfast Club or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Lens Flare Cons
They can take viewers out of the moment and distract them from what is happening on screen.
Do you want to create an emotional connection with your audience or do you want something more esoteric?
If so, go ahead; if not then steer clear!
Reducing Lens Flare With Lens Hoods
Are you tired of flare ruining your photos? Lens hoods can help!
Flare is created when a strong light source shines on the front lens and bounces off, causing reflections in your images.
A lens hood blocks this reflection, so it doesn’t show up in your photo.
One of the most common complaints from photographers who use a DSLR camera is an issue called “flare” which can be caused by light being reflected off the surface of your lens.
Many people don’t know that you can reduce this problem with a simple accessory: a lens hood.
There are many different types and sizes available, so it’s best to do some research before purchasing one.
A lens hood is a device that attaches to the front of your camera lens and helps reduce flare. They are also designed to block stray light from hitting the sensor.
Flare may also be caused by reflections of light off shiny surfaces or rainbows created by water droplets on lenses.
Lens hoods are an effective way to reduce flare, but they will not eliminate it completely.
Minimizing Flare Through Composition
Sometimes, when we’re shooting with a DSLR camera in bright daylight, our images can have an unwanted glare. As we’ve covered, this is called “flare.”
If you are aware of what causes flare before it occurs you can minimize its impact on your photos by composing shots carefully to avoid flare-inducing reflections.
It’s not always possible to get rid of flare completely, but you can minimize its appearance by composing your photographs with attention to light sources and objects that could reflect or generate light.
1. Placement of Light Sources
The first thing to consider when minimizing flare in your composition is the placement of light sources.
If you have multiple light sources, try to group them together as much as possible and avoid placing them near the edge of your frame.
2. Know Your Light Sources & Where You’re Be Shooting
We’re focusing on how to minimize flare through composition. There are many ways to achieve this, but the most important is to know when and where you’ll be shooting.
Know your light sources, whether it’s natural or artificial, and try not to shoot with a strong light source in front of your subject if possible.
You can also use other objects such as trees or buildings for foregrounds that will block the bright lights from entering the lens.
3. Using External Camera Flash
Lastly, if you’re using an external camera flash like a Speedlite, point it away from the subject so as not to cause any harsh shadows or reflections off surfaces near them.
Visualizing Flare With The Depth Of Field Preview
The Depth Of Field Preview button (or similar) is located on most cameras and is especially common on DSLR cameras.
I will share with you a quick tip for visualizing flare in your images when using the depth of field preview.
The Depth of Field Preview (DOF) button is a nifty feature on most cameras that allows you to see how the focus will change as you adjust your aperture.
Some people use this feature to get an idea of what their image will look like before they take it, and others use it to create out-of-focus backgrounds.
The viewfinder image in a camera represents how the image appears only when the aperture is wide open (creating the most intense image, light wise). This might not, therefore, show you exactly how flare with my represented in a final image.
The depth of field preview button can be used to simulate what the flare will look like for other apertures. Although caution is required here: this will also darken the viewfinder image significantly.
And we should point out a natural point here: lens flares can be an artistic choice. Not all lens flares are created equally.
That point is driven home by the knowledge that people are selling lens flare packs for popular software like Photoshop and Final Cut Pro. Like these in the image below:
How Do You Get Rid Of Lens Flare?
The best way to get rid of lens flare is to change your angle so that you are not shooting into the sun.
You can also use a lens hood, as we’ve covered already, which blocks stray light from entering your camera when you’re taking photos with long lenses.
Lens flare can be really hard to get rid of without editing your photos or video footage in post-production, but there are some things you can do before and after to help!
Some ideas for getting rid of, or minimizing, lens flare:
- Use a lens hood (we covered this in this article).
- Shoot with the light source behind you (especially key if you’re working with the sun).
- Plan to get your shots near golden hour to avoid intense light.
Is Lens Flare Good Or Bad?
The debate over whether lens flare is good or bad has been going on for decades. Some people like it because it adds depth to images and can create an artistic effect.
Others think that it’s poor form because it detracts from the subject of the image, which is what we’re trying to focus on when taking pictures.
There are pros and cons to both sides so I encourage you to decide for yourself by looking at some of the examples in this article.
Lens flare is a common occurrence in photography. It’s not an error, but rather a byproduct of the lens collecting light particles from different sources.
There are two types of lens flares: hard and soft.
Hard flares create brighter spots or streaks that can be distracting to viewers. While soft flares produce softer more natural-looking flares which can add depth and beauty to the image.
The question then becomes “is lens flare good or bad?” Some people may say it’s always bad when it distracts from the subject matter. And some folks think it’s simply an overdone cliche, especially in a growing world of quick-snap Instagram images.
However, others may argue that some types of images would look incomplete without these effects.
Lens flare is a common occurrence in photographs that are taken in the sun and usually causes bright spots or streaks.
It can be caused by light reflecting off small particles on the camera lens. Lens flares happen more often when shooting with wide-angle lenses, but they may also occur with longer focal lengths if there is a lot of sunlight present.
There are many opinions about whether or not lens flares should be used as an effect for artistic purposes because some photographers see it as distracting from the subject, while others find it to be aesthetically pleasing.
Lens flare is a phenomenon caused by light reflecting off the small, flat surfaces of camera lenses.
It is often considered to be something bad because it can potentially make an image look less sharp or even washed out.
But, not all lens flares are created equal. Some people love them because they add interest and texture to otherwise ordinary shots. So, what type of person are you?
Do you like lens flares or do you hate them? The answer really depends on personal preference – what do you think?
Artistic choice, or overdone cliche? Let us know in the comments below.
What Is A Lens Hood For?
A lens hood is designed to protect the front of your camera lens. It will block any stray light from entering the lens and causing a glare or flare in your images. Especially useful on an intensely sunny day.
It also helps prevent you from getting fingerprints on the glass when you are handling it, which can happen if you’re not careful!
Lens hoods come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on what sort of lenses they work for. Some people even buy them for their cell phone cameras because they help with both glare and fingerprints!
A lens hood typically has an opening in which you can insert your lens, and then it will attach right onto the camera’s lens.
- Canon ES-68 Lens Hood
- Country of Origin:Japan
- Model Number:0575C001
- Style Name:0575C001
The primary purpose for a lens hood is to protect your expensive lenses from getting damaged, either by sunlight or other elements.
They also offer some protection against rain and snow and shade the front of your lens from any glare that might be reflecting off something such as water or sand.
They also protect the front element of your lens from accidental contact with things like tree branches or other objects that could scratch it.
Lens hoods come in a variety of sizes for different lenses depending on where you’re shooting. They range from compact models perfect for street photography to large models for use with telephoto lenses.
A good rule of thumb is to buy a size larger than your lens’ filter size. This will help reduce vignetting when using wide-angle lenses.
We hope this article on lens flare has covered the topic in detail. Do you have any more questions on lens flare? Let us know in the comments section below.