Sunday, June 5, 2016

HOW TO CREATE LENS FLARE, STAR LIGHTS ON PURPOSE

HOW TO CREATE LENS FLARE, OR STAR LIGHTS ON  PURPOSE !


Now this is one of my favorite types of photos, and I don't know if I came upon this accidently or on purpose, or if I saw another photographer use this.  But, this type of photography is something I really like to do.  And that is to get the sun, or some other light source to shoot directly into your camera to create a burst of light, or star effect or some other effect that may even create a spotlight effect.  Before I have the professional photographer give us their helpful advice, I am going to bring up a photo that I have shot myself, and it is on my profile page of my "Like" page on Facebook.  Some of you are already recipients of the "Like" page, so you may have seen this photo before, but here it is:

This is one of my photos in which I used lens flare, or the light of the sun in the photo itself.  But, I positioned the sun to be in the corner of the photo.  So, it looks like heaven is smiling down on this pretty flower.  It takes patience, and great care to see the light get just right in creating a photo that you will like, but, it can create a magnificent photo. 

HOW TO ADD INTENTIONAL LENS FLARE TO YOUR PHOTOS:
by:  Rajib Mukherjee

 To create lens flare, you need to do the exact opposite of what you would normally do with a key light—aim it straight toward the camera. Mark Wallace from Adorama demonstrates how he does it:
For this shoot Wallace uses a 50mm f/1.4 lens wide open. His shutter speed is set at 1/160 of a second. He places the key light, a Profoto B2 head, directly behind the model and aims it straight at the camera. The wall behind the camera is pure white, which throws back some light onto the subject. At f/1.4 and 1/160 of a second the exposure should be correct for the subject’s face.


The key light set up behind the subject is set to a brightness that meters f/6.3 on the handheld light meter. This is significantly brighter than what is required for the exposure and is intentional. At that brightness setting Wallace is going to get the angelic lens flare that he’s looking for.

Important note before you begin shooting. Make sure that you turn on the modelling light. This will enable you to set up the light so that you can catch the light coming straight down on the lens. Otherwise this is going to be a trial and error sort of thing as you fine tune the composition. By altering the position of the camera or the light, you can adjust how much of that light you can catch with your lens.


These kind of images warrant some amount of post-processing. You’ll need to increase the contrast, adjust white balance, and do a bit of this and that to really make the image pop.

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STRAY LIGHT AND LENS FLARES IN PHOTOGRAPHY
by:  John Rundle

A camera lens is made up of several elements, pieces of special glass ground to a specific curve according to computer calculations. Each element directs light in a particular way and corrects aberrations caused by other lens elements. A telephoto lens may have from 10 elements up to double that number.
lens flares in photography
Photo captured by Leonidas (Click Image to See More From Leonidas)
Usually, elements are joined together with optically clear cement in groups. Rare earth components and minerals are used to make each element perform its task efficiently, and these elements are coated with high quality anti-reflective coatings. It’s a highly complex and expensive process, yet in spite of all the research the perfect lens has to date not been made.

WHAT CAUSES LENS FLARE:
If a very bright light from outside the subject hits the glass, the reflections can cause a range of major image effects. These include washed out color, loss of contrast, bright shapes in the image, often polygonal, the shape of the diaphragm. It’s not unusual to see bright streaks as well. The name for these occurrences is lens flare, which can occupy a large portion of the image area. Because flare is much brighter than the subject it tends to pull the viewer’s eye toward it, sometimes losing the impact of the picture.

IS THE SUN THE ONLY CAUSE OF FLARE?
It’s the most common one, but any source of bright light will do it. So you could get a street light, car headlight, even the full moon in a night shot. The light source does not have to be in the frame, but any stray light just outside it can cause an obvious effect. Efficient modern anti-reflective coatings are great, but they will not stop all flare.

WHAT IF WANT TO AVOID LENS FLARE?
Make sure the lens is shielded from bright light outside the picture area striking the front element. Ways to do this include using the black hood that came with your lens. This fits over the front and provides a protective barrier. No hood? Use your hand (make sure it’s not in the picture). A piece of card (often called a ‘flag’ in this application) or some object between the lens and the sun, a tree, post or other object to avoid a direct hit on the lens usually works.
what causes lens flares
“light” captured by Raluca Mateescu (Click Image to See More From Raluca Mateescu)

ANY PRECAUTIONS IN USING A LENS HOOD?
Mainly, be careful they don’t appear in the picture. Zoom lenses give more problems than fixed focal length lenses, because as the angle of view widens, the chance of getting the edge of the hood in the picture is greater. Therefore the supplied lens hood with a zoom lens is designed for the widest angle of view. As you switch to a longer focal length the use of an extended hood is possible. Of the round and petal shapes, petal shapes are better because the hood is designed to match the oblong shape of the sensor.

WHEN IS A LENS FLARE ACCEPTABLE?

Artistic effects such as creating drama, a feeling of realism, in a silhouette, are all possible subjects where flare could help. Bright rays shining through trees, the early morning feeling, is an example of the so called veiling flare. This washes out color and contrast too, but adds to the impression.
A word of warning. Use manual focus and experiment. Auto focus tends to latch onto the brightest part of the subject, which won’t be your intention with this kind of photography. You will need to look at the result to see if you’re getting the effects you want.
lens flare tips in photography
“Daria and Yury” captured by Tatiana Garanina (Click Image to See More From Tatiana Garanina)

WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST?
Everything depends on your original intention and perception, as in all creative work, as to whether the effects are good or bad. Used effectively, flare is a good way of expressing a feeling of light and airiness, drama, morning, hope, freedom, amongst others. The best way is to achieve it is to go try it. Get out of bed early. Meet the sunrise, find a subject, put the light just outside the viewfinder and experiment. You may surprise yourself. And if you miss it you can always add it in later in software. (But the real ones look better.) Happy shooting.
About the Author
John Rundle is a professional photographer and recently retired head of photography at the Australian International College of Art. He teaches workshops on photographic topics in Australia and New Zealand. He is also active as a musician and musical director.

A special thanks to PictureCorrect for supplying these great articles.




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