When temps cool (or it never seems to warm up), we photogs may find ourselves in the house more, and not out shooting as much. Some of us take the time to revisit past photos sitting on our hardrives.
While looking back at some images from a late summer shoot, I notice the bright setting sun is in many of the pictures. I also noticed that a lot of the images contained those uncalculated streaks of light; lens flares, or sun flares as they are sometimes called. Sun flares are caused by too much light getting into your camera lens because you’re pointing your camera directly at the sun. I don’t use a lens hood, so getting light spillage is common for me. What may not be common for me is if I like the results or not. Shooting later in the day (think sunset or Golden Hour) will also likely get you those sun flares.
Did you set out to purposely capture sun flares? Did you look at your images and become annoyed? Some photographers simply do not want those accidental bursts of light in their pics. But why not? Sometimes sun flares can “ruin” a photo by blocking the main subject. The distortion of light can make an image appear hazy and not crisp. On the other hand, the random light can make your photo artsy and unique.
Were you shooting the sunset or a different subject? Would you like to experiment with shooting sun flares? If something else was your focus, and you caught a sun flare, think twice before just deleting that image. Take a good look at it. You may now see that odd flare as a “happy accident”! Do you love or hate lens flares?
All images © Ayana T. Miller, AyTm Photography (https://www.instagram.com/aytm_photography/)