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A Lesson in Using Flare

By Chris Corradino on January 06, 2015


The New York Institute of Photography is the world’s leading provider of online photography courses, and because we are, we often publish fun and useful photography tips. Please enjoy!

Flare is a fun way to add impact to your photo at the time of the exposure.

By shooting directly into the sun, you can create a beautiful effect known as lens flare. At first, the appearance of these colorful shapes may surprise you. Some photographers will even tell you it's a mistake. Don't let this deter you however. By learning how and when to incorporate these effects into your photography, you can add visual appeal to your images.

If you've ever been advised to shoot with the sun at your back, now is the time to ignore that advice. Shooting into the light source is much more dramatic, and can turn an ordinary scene into something spectacular. You can see how flare will affect the image in the camera's viewfinder. To make the best use of it, gently rock back and forth and watch how the light changes what you see. Moving an inch or two in any direction can make a big difference. The effect is particularly pronounced when the sun is high in the sky.

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About the Author

Chris Corradino is the head of the photography mentor program at NYIP. Just like all of our mentors, he is also a professional photographer. See Chris’s photography lesson from last week for more.