Friday, May 25, 2012

Embracing Sun Flare

When it comes to the light, I chase it, like a moth to a flame.
By Kristin Zecchinelli Of Shutter Sisters Published in Point Of Focus
Embracing Sun Flare

Tips For Shooting Sun Flare

A few common questions asked about sun flare are: What angle works best? What time of day? What camera? Flare is a lot of experimentation—there aren't a lot of right or wrong answers, though there are some simple tips for gaining optimal sun flare in your photos.

1. Sun flare is best shot in early-morning or late-day light. Shooting sun flare at noon is possible, but harder to achieve. Evening light is optimal due to the natural warmth and glow the sun provides as it sets.
2. Perhaps the most important, yet easily forgotten tip: Remove all lens hoods and filters. Often, we forget we have these on our cameras. Those two items are made to reduce the sun's glare—that's their job. If you want to achieve flares, they're conspiring against you. Be sure to take them off.
3. Get low. Position the sun just out of your frame where the rays can bend into your lens.
4. With your free hand, hold something up in front of the sun—a leaf, a flower, your own hand—anything to partially block the sun's rays. This will aid in creating a sunburst effect in your image.
5. Open up the aperture setting for large rings and shapes. This works best in daylight shooting. Or stop down your aperture to achieve starburst rays. The narrower the aperture, the longer the exposure you can use, and that's how you get those lovely rays in the form of star-shaped flares. This is beneficial in nighttime shooting. The light source will then look like stars.
6. Play! Have fun with it. Tilt and shoot, and tilt and shoot again. Train your eye to find the various shapes and rainbows in your viewfinder, and it will become easier and easier to achieve sun flares.
7. Enhance your flares in postprocessing. Sure, they can be brilliant as captured, but by simply oversaturating the color in your images a bit, those flares will pop and glow.
SHUTTER SISTERS is a collaborative photo blog ( and a thriving community of women, passionate about photography. Photographer and writer Kristin Zecchinelli is a contributor to Shutter Sisters and Everyday Storytellers, and co-creator of NOW YOU Workshops,

« Prev 2/2 Next

Login to post comments

Popular How-To

  • Always Be Sharpening

    Always Be Sharpening

    Raw image files are great, but they come out of the camera half-baked. If you’re not sharpening your RAW image files, your images won’t look their best.

  • Adding Copyright Information In Camera

    Adding Copyright Information In Camera

    Your ownership information can be embedded directly in EXIF metadata from the moment of capture. Here’s how.

  • Gear For The Soulful Photographer

    Gear For The Soulful Photographer

    Shooting with equipment that complements your individual aesthetic can lead to images with more depth and meaning

Popular Gear

Subscribe & Save!
International residents, click here.