Capturing Sun Flares

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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.

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2) Tip your camera upward until you can see the flare on your screen, and snap!

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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