Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Add Some Flare!
How to create this popular effect without software
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
|Shooting in direct sunlight often causes people to squint. Turning the model around to where she was backlit and placing the sun in the top corner of the frame caused a nice warm light with a subtle flare which made this portrait much more interesting than a typical portrait that would need to be shot using indirect sunlight. Taken using a Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G VR.|
Shooting toward a light source reduces the overall contrast and color saturation of your image. It underexposes your subject if you set the exposure for the background and overexposes the background if you set the exposure for the subject and the effect introduces odd color and shape artifacts in your image known as lens flare. As photographers, we're usually told that shooting into a light source is bad and that lens flare in your photos is an undesirable effect. In fact, lens flare is considered so undesirable that lensmakers use antireflective coatings, such as Nikon's Nano Crystal Coating to reduce the effect.
So, what exactly is lens flare? The short answer is that lens flare is the result of errant light being reflected internally among the glass elements that make up the optics of the lens. Lenses that are more optically complex tend to have a higher incidence of lens flare than more simple lenses.
Lens flare can be used effectively in all kinds of photography from portraiture to still life, landscapes and more. The great thing about this effect is that it can be done utilizing just about any camera system, from your high-end DSLR all the way down to the most inexpensive compact camera, and since it's an optical effect, it can be viewed in real time whether looking through a viewfinder, or on an LCD monitor.
Creating lens flare in your image is a relatively easy affair. Simply compose your image facing towards a light source. A small, extremely bright, directional light source such as the sun, a street light, spotlight, a simple indoor lamp or even a flash are ideal for creating lens flare.
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