>How to Create Gorgeous Sunflare Photos

>Sunflare at Sunsetworks for me wednesday at we are that familyToday’s Works for Me Wednesday is another photography technique that creates unique and dramatic images that will leave people in awe. I’m talking about sunflare! I’m sure you know what I mean, those photos with bright light streaming from one corner creating funky colored circles and interesting silhouettes.

It used to be that sunflare, or lens flare as it is also called, was a sign of a bad photo…that the photographer messed up the exposure. But nowadays clients LOVE the dramatic effect, so much so that people have come up with lots of ways to create it in Photoshop post-processing.   But that doesn’t always look right, so it’s better to go for it in the original image, if that’s what you’re after.

One caveat: I have no idea how to do this, or if it’s even possible, with point and shoot cameras.  Some of steps might give you some great streaky sunbeams, but the actual lens flare (colored circles) may only be possible in an SLR.

1. Works best on a sunny day, when the sun is lower in the sky…like close to dusk.

Experiments with Sunflare2.  Zoom lenses seem to work better than primes, so your 18-55mm kit lens should actually be perfect.  I find that shooting closer to the low end of the zoom (18mm) produces more sunflare.

3. Take your UV filter (which you really should always have on every lens you own!) off for this experiment.  In my experience, it helps. Take of your lens hood too!

4. Put your subject directly between you and the sun.  Or put the sun just off to the edge or corner of your viewfinder.

5. Use a very narrow aperture (high f-stop).  This one with the barn is shot at f-22.  Do NOT shoot wide open. Play around with your exposure, spot metering off the subject and adjusting as necessary.  

6. If you have two people, try positioning the sun directly in between them, letting only part of the sun peek pass them.  Unfortunately I don’t have any of my own photos like this to show you at the moment.

So that’s it! Just practice, practice, practice! It’s lots of fun.

Here’s an additional post on sunflare from I Heart Faces!

And that’s What Works for Me!

Any pointers I missed? Tell me in the comments!

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4 responses to this post.

  1. >Interestingly, Disqus seems to automatically make links in comments "no follow", but I went in an edited it to work…I think. Great photo, Kevin!

    Reply

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