Saturday, March 25, 2017

Picture Practice - Lens Flare

Day 25 - Lens Flare

Lens flare is occurs when the strong rays of light hit the camera lens and produce a slight sun burst. This light can create light streaks  or reduction in contrast and saturation. If you are like many phone photographers, you probably have accidentally produced lens flare at one time or another and immediately deleted it because you thought you had ruined the image. Photographers have used all sorts of tricks to avoid it or minimize it, but I think it is time to learn to use it to your advantage.

When I took the photo below, I used the zoom and the Camera+ app to adjust the exposure and took 2 different photos.  I took this one first, but I was trying to capture the sky, so I exposed it to the sky and tried again, since this one seemed over-exposed.
Here is the second photo. While the sky has more character, the mushroom in the foreground got lost in the dark.
Once I was able to review the photos, I was surprised to see the lens flare in the first photo. The sky is over-exposed, but it produced such a sparkly flare on the dew that I loved it.

Shooting directly into the sun can definitely over-power your subject if you are not careful, so it is tricky to achieve a balance that is appealing to the viewer. You can do this by cropping some of the light out the photo.
 One other trick is to use an object to mask some of the light source. In both of the photos below, I used the trees to black our some of the light. As I looked at the screen, I was able to move around until I could see the "starburst" effect and then snapped the picture.
I hope that today provides you with an opportunity to get outdoors and some sun to practice this with. Have a sun-filled day!

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