Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Embracing Sun Flare
Achieve dramatic effects with natural light
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
When it comes to the light, I chase it, like a moth to a flame. It only makes sense that my love of the sun would permeate my photography, as well. I'm not writing to debate the pros and cons of pointing your camera at the sun; we all know there are many who balk at the mere mention of it. There are products created and bought to prevent sun glare in images. But if you're like me, and are called by the light, if images of sun flare and sunbursts make you weak in the knees, then this is an article for you.
So what's flare? Flare happens when the light bends and reflects inside the glass body of your lens. Each lens being constructed differently results in each lens having its very own flare. I liken it to a fingerprint, each one different and unique. My kit lens provides a myriad of colorful shapes and bubbles, whereas my 60mm creates a large rainbow arch. My 50mm has a vibrant hot pink flare that I love. You get the picture—each one creates a different effect, therefore creating a different image. By playing with your gear, you'll find what type of flare yours creates.
Shooting the light can be tricky at first; it requires a willingness to play. Thanks to the gift of digital photography, you're not limited to a roll or 24 exposures. You're forever free to click away. For finding and creating sun flare, this is key. Move your camera body. As you tilt the camera, watch the light bend and refract in your viewfinder. The flare will appear there. It can take a little while to find it or "see" it at first, but it's there. Be patient. Click away, tilt again, and click some more. Practice, practice, practice. Once you develop your eye for your camera's flare, you'll begin to see it much easier and learn the sweet spots of your camera and lenses.
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