I have an obsession with capturing sun flares. I’m sure that breaks some sort of photography “rule,” but I don’t really care because I think they are so beautiful! People are always astounded I don’t add them in, in post processing of my image. I don’t understand that, because I find them relatively easy to capture. All I do is:
1) Find a place the sun is peeking through: Behind a tree, over a fence, or through the holes in a fence, over the roof, any place. Late afternoon/ sunset is the easiest time to do this.
2) Tip your camera upward until you can see the flare on your screen, and snap!
3) Don’t over-edit the final image– it will make the sun flare look fake. Sharpen just a touch to enhance each ray of the sun flare, and use a pretty filter. Stop there. (Changing the image to black and white can also make a sun flare pop in a gorgeous way.)
4) Optional: Remove lens flare orbs. I don’t like the distracting green orbs that sometimes end up in the middle of my photos with lots of sun flare, so I’ll quickly edit them out, using something like TouchRetouch.
5) Another thing to think about is that you want the sun to add a striking look to the image, but you don’t want it to overpower the image completely. I make sure that the sun highlights the subject. This is why in most of the images where I include sun flares, they are off to the side, or even half out of the photo: They aren’t the center of attention.
That’s it! Pretty easy, interesting to look at, and so beautiful.