Lens flares can add another element to your images and can often help frame your shot. If you get it right you can get the light to bounce of your lens just right and create a lens flare in shot.
If the light isn’t quite hitting the lens right you may want to add some lens flare in post processing.
What is Lens Flare?
It is important to understand how lens flares and sun bursts works first so that if you decide to add them in your editing you can make sure they look right and authentic.
Flares comes from a light source, typically the sun, and are caused by fractions of light effectively bouncing around the glass of your lens before reaching the camera sensor. The way a long exposure shows the movement of its subject lens flares effectively show the movement of light.
Lens flare will usually appear as spots in a straight line coming away from your light source. It can also appear as scattered spot light sources.
Adding Lens Flare in Lightroom
The adjustment brush is the best way to add flares in Adobe Lightroom.
Great settings for your brush:
Remember to add numerous different brush strokes so you can add different colours into your lens flares.
Once you have something that looks like a flare have a play around with the sliders until you reach the desired result. You can change colours using the Temp and Tint sliders or using the colour box just below the defringe slider.
Adding Lens Flares in Photoshop
Adding a lens flare in Photoshop is so simple and they look so good.
Go to the filter tab at the top and go down to Render > Lens Flare.
There are 4 types of lens flare options available. In our opinion the best one is the 50-300mm Zoom but like everything in photography it is personal preference. The great thing is you can see a little preview of all 4 before you decide which you like.
Make sure you set your focal point over your point of light and then have a play around with the brightness. Once you are happy with the preview hit OK.
If you aren’t happy with the outcome in the final image just undo (CMD/CTRL + Z) and try again.