Effectively Incorporating Light Flares in Your Photos

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Guest Article by:  Gughan Bose

Light Flares are often undesirable, as they reduce the overall contrast of the photo. One of the uses of lens hoods is to eliminate flares. Although they are undesirable for some occasions, flares are of great use in others. They alter the mood of the photo dramatically. They are of great use in summer photo projects and ones that involve creating a warm or dreamy mood.

Why do we get this flare? Technically, when we have our camera/lens setup in a direct line to the light source, the light that comes from the source gets reflected within the lens setup creating flares. That’s the reason for the different shapes you see in a flare. When the light source is at your side, you will get a diffused light on one side of the photo. They are often called stray light. You can avoid them by using lens hoods or blocker cards, as you can see here.

Light Flares in Your Photos
Photo Credit: Peter Belanger

As I said before, the use of lens flare depends on the project, the mood you want to create and the photographer. This article gives you 3 occasions in which you can use flares.

Summer/Dreamy Mood

Using flares for summer projects is the most famous one and the most practiced, as well. Summers always remind us of those bright sunny days. That mood can’t be well documented in a photo without sun and its rays. Creating flares is an art in itself. The easiest way is to partially hide the light source using your subject. Fully exposing the source may sometimes create considerable over-exposed zones, which are not desirable. But, that largely depends on the need and project at hand. The other way is to have your light source at the sides and let just the rays take their place in photos.

Dreamy mood is characterized by glow lights. That diffused light can be naturally recorded in misty/foggy places, where the light gets diffused in the mist. That mood can also be obtained by simply diffusing the sunlight to cover most parts of the frame. This not only gives us a uniform tone but also the fantasy/dreamy mood that we want.

Light Flares in Your Photos
Photo Credit: Shelby Tanner

Light Flares in Your Photos
Photo Credit: Shelby Robinson

Alexis & David {Engaged} - Light Flares in Your Photos
Photo Credit: Kylie Meiser

Sunset Splash - Light Flares in Your Photos
Photo Credit: Paul McGee

pretty eyes, long hair, smells so sweet like summer in the air - Light Flares in Your Photos
Photo Credit: Toma EvsuVdo

 

Landscapes and architectures

The basic parts of any landscape photo are sky, land and sometimes sun. The attributes of sun are light and rays. So, we try to create that ray and shine with flares. When you have sun flare in a landscape photo, you are giving some life to sun and, in the process, to the photo. The more lively and candid the photo, the more engaging it gets. For architectures, you can have either have sun or not have it. It is more of an option in case of architecture photography, but adding flares to them is definitely a plus.

Flare - Light Flares in Your Photos
Photo Credit: Alessio Andreani

Fossils ages - Light Flares in Your Photos
Photo Credit: Abdullaziz BinAli

Shining Through - Light Flares in Your Photos
Photo Credit: Paul Rojas

Let there be light!! - Light Flares in Your Photos
Photo Credit: Kathy Towe

Sleepy morning - Light Flares in Your Photos
Photo Credit: Cristi Jora

 

Long Exposure

Long exposure photos effectively capture the light rays, since it is exposed for quite a while than normal ones. Photographers normal use ND filters for long exposure photos to get that perfect exposure. There are other special filters like cross screen filters to create that star shaped pattern flare that you see on long exposure photos. It is again an option. But, those star shaped flares does look good with long exposure photos.

Happy Holidays from the Bay Bridge - Light Flares in Your Photos
Photo Credit: Aaron M

Two sides of the Westminster Bridge - Light Flares in Your Photos
Photo Credit: Panta Rei Photo

Bridge Fix - Light Flares in Your Photos
Photo Credit: Mike Orso

Flying with the Seagulls - Light Flares in Your Photos
Photo Credit: Benoît Felten

Mingle - Light Flares in Your Photos
Photo Credit: Ted Gore

 

Caution:

Don’t look through the view finder while taking photos involving direct light sources. They are harmful to your eyes. Always use your LCD screen to take photos involving sun flares and direct light sources, as you do on point-shoot cameras without view finders.

 

About Gughan Bose

I am Gughan Bose. I am a photo hobbyist. I am currently experimenting with all genres of photography. Hopefully, I should find the one that interests me soon and I wish it to be Fine-art photography.

About Gughan Bose

You can find Gughan Bose on the Web:

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Comments

  1. ashwini says:

    gud one..:)

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