Lens Flare

One trend that’s been happening is the use of lens flare in photos, especially portraits. A lot of ad campaigns and things use lens flare, even though it’s been deemed an aberration and a no-no in photography. As for me, I find that I like it when it’s used subtly. I experimented a little with my friends at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, which has a really beautiful art garden, during an impromptu fun “photo shoot”. These photos are strictly out-of-camera, no retouching has been done to them. They all use my Nikon D90 and a Nikkor 50mm/1.8 lens. The one on the left is your standard portrait. By tilting my lens and shooting at an angle where the sun’s rays just slightly spill into it (apologies to my poor camera’s sensor), I get a nice soft lens flare effect on the right one without the little light refractions which show up in my California Science Center photo.

Here’s another example with another friend taken on the same day. The left one is nice, but the right one seems to get a wash of sunshine:

The things about trends are that they can become really cheap and tacky looking really fast when the trend is over and another one shows up. For these pictures, I was slightly inspired by some photos I’d seen in my sisters’ teen magazines which use a lot of lens flare like this. I adjusted my white balance to be a little more golden and soft (auto white balance had corrected it so it was more blue). Some people don’t like the lens flare look, but I think it looks good when used in the right situations.

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2 Responses to Lens Flare

  1. kirchu says:

    You did good at the whole lens flare technique. I personally don’t like it, but I think you did a good job, making me actually like them. Your last sentence is spot on.

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