What is Lens Flare and How to Create/Eliminate Artificial Lens Flare as A Profession

Last Updated on November 17, 2021 by Peter Wood

Lens flare might be a concept you do not know well. But there is no doubt that you have seen lens flare before, especially in plenty of Hollywood movies in the past decade. It is a concept of photography. It usually happens when the light from the sun hits your camera lens. In other words, the position of your lens to the light source impacts the size and the look of the flare significantly. This article will tell you all about the lens flare effect and help you control it with ease.

How to Create/Eliminate Artificial Lens Flare

Part 1: What is Lens Flare?

Just as mentioned above, lens flare is generated when non-image forming light enters your lens and subsequently hits the camera film or digital sensor. When sunlight hits the optical subjects in the lens, there will be some internal reflections. It appears on your photos as small circles. They are from all the glass inside the lens barrel. When you look close, you will notice that the lens flares look like tiny polygons instead of circles.

Part 2: How to Eliminate Lens Flare

Because of the ghosting, you might want to remove the lens flare from your photos. It can manifest in many methods but typically as a halo when light hits the lens elements. Lens flare is all matter of your preference. You like it while others do not think so.

To take control over lens flare, you should know how to eliminate it as the first situation. But what do you do if you find yourself in a situation that you cannot avoid in your shot? As for hardware, camera lenses with an anti-reflective coating can help you to cut down your lens flare. Moreover, today most lenses have such a feature. The downside is only eliminating minor lens flare. When it comes to bright lens flares, you’d better use a lens hood, which can cover the sides of your camera lens.

The second solution to eliminate lens flare is to avoid it. It is simple. And all you need to do is to shoot away from the sun. It does not have any extra hardware or software.

Of course, some photo editing software can help you remove lens flare if you find yourself in a situation where you cannot get rid of it. Photoshop, for example, can eliminate lens flare. You can select the Patch tool in the toolbox, set it to Content-Aware in the top menu bar, and select the lens flare and drag to remove it. Moreover, the Clone Stamp tool in Photoshop can eliminate lens flare too.

Lens Share Light

Part 3: How to Create Artificial Lens Flare

Lens flare is not always ruining your photo, and sometimes you may want to create an effect on your photos. If you prepare to shoot a photo with a lens flare effect, it is also quite simple. All you need to do is to shoot in the sunlight. But it controls the result. The photo editor is another method to control the lens flare effects, such as Photoshop. It has a filter called Lens Flare, which provides photo effects. Just learn more details about how to get the desired photo effect.

Step 1: Import the photo that you want to add lens flare effect in Photoshop. Select the photo layer in the Layers panel. Go to the Filter menu on the top ribbon. Choose the Render option and select the Lens Flare filter.

Choose Lens Share

Step 2: Drag the lens flare effect to the correct position and adjust the options at the bottom. The Brightness slider determines the brightness of the lens flare. Photoshop uses a 50-300mm Zoom lens as default. When you are satisfied with the lens flare effect, click the OK button to close the dialog.

Adjust Lens Share Effect

Step 3: Go to the Filter menu and choose the Undo Lens Flare option. Locate the Layers panel and click the New Layer icon to add a new layer above the original photo. Then use the Paint tool on the toolbox to fill the new layer with black.

Add New Layer

Note: You can go to the Edit menu from the top of the screen and choose the Fill option. Then you can set the Contents to Black option and confirm the settings by clicking the OK button.

Step 4: Make sure to select the new layer, go to the Filter menu, and choose the Lens Flare menu. Then Photoshop will re-apply the lens flare effect to the black layer with the same setting. Then you can adjust the photo effects by blending the two layers.

Mask Layer

Step 5: You need to adjust the blend mode to blend the lens flare into the photo. Click the Blend Mode option in the Layers panel, and switch from Normal to Screen. Then all of the black on the new layer will disappear but leave only the lens flare effect.

Apply Lens Flare

Step 6: To adjust the lens flare effect, go to the Image menu, choose the Adjustments option, and select the Hue/Saturation option. You can set the color, effect parameters, and other settings until you are satisfied with the filters.

Apply Hue Photoshop

Step 7: Go to the File menu and choose the Save As an option. You can name the photo, select the output format and other options, and export the artwork with the lens flare to your hard drive. Moreover, you can also share photos on social media websites.

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Just learn more details about lens flare and how to create lens flare effects during or after photography. If you have photos with lens flare, you can consider the position and angle that you shot. If you want to make the lens flare effect with your photos, you can choose Photoshop as the desired lens flare program to take control of the photo effects.