Even if you're not J.J. Abrams. a little lens flare can be a great way to add a new look to your shots. Learn how to control it and how to manipulate its appearance with this helpful video.
Coming to you from Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens, this video walks you through using lens flare to your advantage. High quality, modern lenses are generally designed to minimize flaring, but once you lose the lens hood and get your light source on or near the shooting axis, you should be able to make it appear in all but the most robust optics. It's a bit finicky, but if you're looking for that slightly washed out, summery look or the cinematic appearance of reflected elements, it's a lot of fun to try. In particular, notice how your aperture determines whether the flare appears as a diffuse blob or as clearly defined rays. One thing to note: if your lens has an odd number of aperture blades, the number of rays you'll see will be double the number of blades. If it has an even number of blades, the number of rays will be equal. And if you really want to go crazy with it, grab an older lens with less coatings than its modern counterparts.