Add Some Flare to Your Photographs in Two Easy Steps

Lens manufacturers go out of their way to design a lens that will eliminate lens flare. So why would you want to cause lens flare purposely and how would you go about it?

Mark Wallace of Adorama TV demonstrates just how easy it is to create lens flare in your image to give them a different look. There are numerous reasons you might want to consider using a creative lens flare in your images. Perhaps you want to give the impression the subject is located on a lit city street where you have light coming from all directions. This approach is used all the time in Hollywood movies, especially those old 1940s movies. Another use may be when you are trying to create some atmosphere in your image. Put a little smoke in the air and shine the light back towards the camera and boom there you have studio made atmosphere. Wallace not only shows you how to shoot to get a lens flare but he also walks you through various Photoshop steps to give your lens flare different looks.

While Wallace uses one light to generate a flare, multiple flashes could be used to give more flares to your image. Why would you want to do this? Well, perhaps you want to simulate a photograph taken at a sports stadium where light could be entering your camera from many different light sources at different angles.  While this might not be a look you use frequently, it can provide another skill that is tucked away in your shooting skill tool-bag and pulled out when you just need one more look on that next photo shoot.

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3 Comments

Yan Pekar's picture

Just curious: what is the reason for adding such overexposed spots of light (the ones which are in the right top corner)? They not only distract but also take attention of a viewer away from a portrait / main subject, as human eyes are usually first go to the brightest parts of an image.

Rifki Syahputra's picture

just bring holga anywhere in your bag pocket, use it when the mood kicks in

Honestly, they look terrible.