Camera Lens Flare: Everything You Need To Know

Whether you use a high-end device or a quality camera, there’s always a chance to spot the lens flare in your photography. Especially, when posing against sunlight or in a room with the light on, you get caught by the lens flares at some points. 

Lens flare is a beautiful addition to your photos when you capture without any object distractions. So, to enhance the quality of the camera lens flare, we are bringing you some tips and tricks in later sections.

What is Lens Flare?

Do you know lens flare is both good and often bad for your photography?   

Yes, you heard it right. 

Lens flare is a bright light source that can be used for your photography with accurate object presence. On the other hand, lens flare can directly be the cause of bad photography as shining lens flare often creates obscure photos.

So, how lens flare is created during photography? 

When you’re posing for photography against sunlight or bright studio light, there’s a chance that forming light will hit the front part of the camera lens and spread in the lens system. Later, the light will reflect off the camera glass surfaces. 

Flare off the camera lens generally damages the photo, but on the same page, it can be used to enhance the image quality.

Types of Lens Flares

During photography, depending on the camera lens, different lenses can create different types of lens flares. Follow the different lens flares in later sections

1. Spot Lens Flare

When lens flare typically occurs for the purpose of the camera lens, the spot lens flare occurs quite differently. While taking images, spot flare occurs due to the result of light bouncing on the photographic sensor and lens components. 

Moreover, light also gets reflected from the photographic sensor to the lens, following back to the photographic sensor. The latest edition of mirrorless cameras that features small flange distance is the cause of creating spot lens flare.

2. Ghosting Lens Flare

Ghost flare is another lens flare that you can see. Ghost flare completely relies on the diaphragm shape. It will continue to spread with a straight line and consist of bright light sources. 

Use larger apertures while taking photos to stay out of ghosting lens flare trouble.

3. Angular Light Lens Flare

Here’s another addition of lens flare that you can get from the camera. Angular light lens flare generally occurs when sunlight or bright light is outside the frame. It creates a streak line of light throughout the photo. 

Is Lens Flare Good or Bad?

We have discussed above that lens flare in photos can be both good and bad. It depends on your personal taste.

If you see lens flare creating obstacles and obscuring the photo, it definitely wouldn’t be good for your photo. But you can use the sunlight flare as an advantage or enhance your photo quality. 

So, in this sense, lens flare can be either good or bad.

10 Tips to Create Lens Flare?

So, if you want to use lens flare in a good way, you can use it as a creative component.  There are different ways to enhance your photos with lens flare. Here are some tips-

1. Shoot during the golden hour

For precise lens flare photography, you need to stay forth of the sunlight, and precise location choice is another lens light flare photography rule. 

During sunsets and sunrises, you always have the chance of getting the best lens flare shots. During sunset and sunrise, the light gets dimmer, and it creates an amazing lens flare during the photo shoot. 

2. Get rid of the camera lens hood

When the camera lens hood also can create the different vibes for lens flare shot, often you need to get rid of it. The camera lens hood can block certain lights and prevent lens flare coming out of the frame. This camera work can be done using a smaller lens hood.

Usually, a camera lens hood is attached with some cameras to make yourself out of trouble from the direct sunlight. Additionally, the lens hood brings more vibrance and contrast to your photo. 

While you want to have a lens flare, you can get rid of the camera lens hood and let the direct sunlight come into the camera to effectively have the light flare.

3. Shoot into the sun

As lens flare occurs due to a bright light source, you should face your back against bright sunlight or stand in a way that sunlight falls on your right or left sides. This will later create a lens flare with enough light. 

Furthermore, you can use the studio light to get the lens flare effect. Just use-

  • Precise part of the composition
  • Precise camera settings

4. Shoot with artificial lighting

Artificial lighting is the best choice to shoot the lens flare manually. You don’t need to be in a fancy photoshoot studio to capture the lens flare. Just take a look at how to shoot with artificial lighting-

  • Choose a suitable side to put the lighting
  • Get a torch or phone flashlight
  • Place the torch or phone to the precise side of the camera
  • Aim the torch or phone to the camera lens

5. Use Filters

There are different types of filters to try for a camera lens flare shot. On the contrary, some photographers avoid low-quality filters that create flare. Evidently, they don’t prefer low-quality filters. 

But here, we are going to point out some of the well-known filters that you can use to capture lens flare camera filters.

  • (UV filters) Preventing amount of light from getting into the camera
  • (Polarizing filters) Darken some parts of the image
  • (Neutral Density Filters) Prevents amount of light enters the camera
  • (Prism or Fractal Filters) Create refraction or multiple images
  • (Streak Filters) Create anamorphic and add lens flare effect

6. Play with your angles

During lens flare photography, make sure you have the accurate position to start with the photography. While the photoshoot, you can change the sides to make sure proper lighting effects fall on the camera lens. 

While you adjust the point of view and framing, you change the angle for sunlight or light source. Additionally, proper gestures and keeping yourself against the direct light will mostly ensure how effective your lens flare shot would be.

So, keeping yourself at the right angles holds much more importance. 

7. Set the aperture to create lens flare

Aperture is one of the essential parts of the camera lens where light enters through the diaphragm and determines the light passing. While closing or opening the aperture, you have different effects to try.

Press ‘the depth of field preview’ button and examine how much DOF you require. This option is useful for the macro photoshoot that includes high aperture lenses.

However, there are different aperture setting functions that you can follow to create lens flare. But first, check to see if your camera has aperture options. Cameras with single-lens reflux & heavy compact digital cameras include this feature.

If the aperture sets with ‘Av’ or ‘A’ then you will be able to handle the aperture manually. Aperture is featured with a number value. On the other hand, digital cameras keep this option in the menu system.

So, let’s get to know the aperture settings to create lens flare

  • When the camera is equipped with a large number aperture, it allows less light to enter
  • A smaller number in the aperture setting allows bright light to enter your camera
  • Adjust the numbers as your choice to have the precise lens flare
  • Make sure the small numbers don’t make your image background too much blurry

8. Experiment with focus

While aperture sets the amount of lighting that enters into the camera lens, you can later try experimenting with focus. Macro photography is the most used technique to have a full and precise object in your photoshoot. 

While focusing with the macro lens, make sure sunlight stays in the right position to create a better sunlight flare photoshoot.

Moreover, these days cameras include three types of focus mode

One Auto Focus Shot

Your camera will find objects to focus on, lock on the object when the shutter is pressed a bit, and keep holding there till the shutter gets tripped. This is called one auto shot or AF-S.

Auto Continuous Focus Shot

This way the camera tracks and keeps focusing on the moving object. This is called auto continuous shot or AF-C or AI servo.

Manual Focus Shot

Manual focus is all about your choice. But make sure, your camera is set to manual mode to ensure focusing on the object manually.

Smartphone Shot

Your device will continue focusing until it locks on some objects.

Final Verdict

In the end, photo shooting in direct sunlight or bright light will eventually help you create an effective camera lens flare. You can use different software filters especially creating lens flare in photoshop as well.

In case you need to stay out of the lens flare, you can use the camera lens hood. This essential accessory is created to prevent full direct sunlight from entering the camera lens. Usually, camera lenses that contain a camera lens hood are quite expensive. 


1. What’s the difference between lens flare and bokeh?

Lens flare is the spots of light with the image created by the reflection of light; on the other hand, Bokeh defines the blurry enigmatic effect in out-of-focus parts of the image.

2. Should I Use a Lens Hood at Night to Avoid Lens Flare?

Lens hood is created to block a certain amount of sunlight, but, in case you need to block the street lights or bright moonlight, you can use the lens hood.

3. How Do You Stop Lens Flare at Night? Try to remove lens filters from the camera lens. Do not use a small aperture while photo shooting; this will create the chance of increasing the lens flare effect. Try a quality prime lens that includes good coatings to stop the lens flare.

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