A recent trend among many professional photographers is the use of Lens Flare. Simple in theory, it doesn’t take a lot of advanced knowledge to add this technique to your list of photographic tricks. A few considerations will help you achieve your best Lens Flare capabilities without breaking into a sweat.
1. Shoot into the Sun: Lens Flare is caused by strong rays of light directly hitting your lens and causing a slight sun burst. Capitalizing on the direction of your light is the key to capturing Lens Flare.
2. Think Silhouette: 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.
3. Use Manual Mode: Your camera will expose the scene for the total amount of light in the photo. If you follow the camera’s metering, you will be left with a silhouette as it tries to compensate for the amount of light. Shooting on Manual will enable you to over-compensate for the backlight, so your subject is perfectly lit – even with the over exposed background.
4. Shoot at an angle: Because you want an image with Lens Flare [and not simply over exposure], you need to remember one thing: Camera position to the sun. 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. But at mid day this changes. You will need to position yourself fairly low to the ground in order to shoot into the sun. Typically, 11am or 2pm is most conducive to mid day Lens Flare.
5. Watch your focus: Your camera typically will 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.
Have you taken some great Lens Flare shots? Share them in the Share Your Shots section of our forum.