Lens flare: how to avoid glare when shooting wide-angle scenes

Lens flare: how to avoid glare when shooting wide-angle scenes

Is lens flare spoiling some of your favourite photos? Stop wasting pictures and try these 3 fool-proof methods of banishing lens flare from your images when shooting wide-angle scenes.

Lens flare: how to avoid glare when shooting wide-angle scenes

Lens flare is an annoying phenomenon caused by sunlight striking the front of the lens. It usually appears as brightly-coloured streaks or diaphragm shapes across the picture.

Lens flare is a common problem for photographers that occurs when you are shooting towards the sun, even if the sun isn’t in the frame, and is most likely when using a wide-angle lens. Some lenses are more prone to lens flare than others, and the effects can also be exaggerated when you have filters fitted.

Often you won’t be aware of lens flare until you have viewed the picture afterwards, so it’s well worth taking steps to minimise flare at the time of shooting. Here’s how to go about it…

The best ways to banish lens flare from your images

The best ways to banish lens flare from your images: step 1

Lens flare method 01: Fit a lens hood
If your wide-angle lens has a lens hood, get into the habit of fitting it. It will cut down on unwanted lens flare when shooting scenes lit by low sun. Alternatively, use a piece of black card or your hand to shield the front of the lens – but check the viewfinder to make sure it isn’t creeping into the frame!

 

The best ways to banish lens flare from your images: step 2

Lens flare method 02: Hide the sun
The best way to avoid lens flare when shooting towards the sun is to hide it behind a tree or building, or wait for it to be partly obscured by a cloud. Try composing the photo so that part of the sun is just visible, then shoot at f/16. This will create an interesting starburst effect, but without any distracting flare.

SEE MORE: The 10 Rules of Photo Composition (and why they work)

The best ways to banish lens flare from your images: step 3

Lens flare method 03: Use a blending technique
Another approach to avoid lens flare involves taking two images: the first as normal, then a second frame with the sun obscured using your finger or card (in shot) to prevent flare in the rest of the picture. Later, blend the two photos in Photoshop to produce the final image.

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