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.


10 thoughts on “I Loooove Lens Flares

  1. Lens flare is a natural part of our cameras (with the exception of pinholes).
    So, if they occur, I think they are just part of how we see “photographically.”
    Nice series and a new theme for you!


  2. Very interesting and sometimes an added bit of interest but I try not to get flares as they generally wash out part of the photo I want. I have a hood but seldom use it because it’s just something else to keep track of. The only reason I can think of to use one from a photo editing program is to give an illusion of distance and depth.


  3. I also like the unpredicatability of lens flare…I think it adds another layer and visual interest.
    On FLICKR there are groups that are into lens flare I think one is called Cornea burn…might be worth looking into.


  4. thanks, love!

    you have some neat ones here. i love lens flare. i knew it must be something that photographers like to capture when i saw that photoshop has an effect that allows you to create one artificially on a photo. but i like when i get it naturally. there was bound to be a major flare on my shot that you linked to. the sun had just sunk low enough to not be behind the clouds anymore, and it absolutely illuminated my world around me! it was so incredible. far ore incredible than the picture even shows.

    thanks for the link. 🙂

    gosh, i miss visiting blogs! i’m so frustrated with my slow computer, but do not have the time or means to iron the problem out right now. but i say, as long as i’m here, i may as well take a look see at all i’ve been missing and catch up with you a bit. 🙂

    i hope all is well.



  5. oh, i forgot to say. i have a couple of other neat lens flare shot that i got over the past several months. i will have to post them and do a follow-up post to yours here. 🙂


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