I Loooove Lens Flares

Bane or blessing? Accidental or intentional? Photographic gaffe or creative expression?

My favorite time of day to shoot is the late afternoon because of the deep shadows and contrasts. In all of these photos, which I’ve posted before, the lens flare was unintentional. I, of course, know that shooting into the sun may cause a flare but that wasn’t my main objective. The first couple I saw I considered a “mistake,” but I posted them anyway and the more I saw them and those of other photobloggers, the more I began to like them. And now I love them! They add a certain drama and mystery.


I really do like the ones that show the aperture shape best but the glaring ones can be pretty dramatic, too.

Pine and sun

Bridge 1

Lens Refraction

Dreamy Draw Dam

Flag 1

Pines and sky fisheye

Check out this totally awesome lens flare on Georgia’s blog! I’d sure like to get a capture like that. And look at her 2 header images; the bottom one is classic lens flare. And Red or Gray’s pine cone flare (I couldn’t link directly to her photo but it’s in this post) is really nice.

On a related note, did you see the 2009 Star Trek movie? Notice the lens flares? Director J.J. Abrams admits lens flares are ridiculous. Among other things, he says of them,”There is something incredibly unpredictable and gorgeous about them.”

I’d like to see your lens flares, too. Do you use a lens hood to prevent them? Have you ever added one with Photoshop or some other program? If you’d like to link some in the comments section, I’d enjoy seeing them.