Friday 22 September 2023

Dawn's Flare

I know--three posts in the same month to discuss the same dragon! It turns out, that this is an "outtake" from Dawn's photo session... but I'm obsessed with harnessing/causing lens flares in photos, and also learning how to edit a photo with a flare. I somehow managed several on my other run with Kitty Cookie, but when I took Dawn's out it was literally the golden hour, I put out the camera... and got the biggest flare of them all.

Don't expect much of this post. Just four edits of the same photo, and mi rambling about WTF I got!

Well, somebody told me that lens flares are undesirable, I just shrugged and kept on trying. I think they are quite cool (some of my best photos had lens flares that I was actively "chasing", so to speak). This one is, though, a bit extreme.

I used the Minolta 58mm f1.4 at nearly the golden hour. So, you may be wondering WTF are all the dots and "dirt" that appear in the photo--let me tell you, it was my first question. The answer is that these are literally dirt in the lens. Given that I clean them quite often, my guess is that this is located on the inner elements of the lens--let me translate. The "elements" are literally the different glasses that compose the lens proper, that provide the zooming, magnification, and focusing abilities--literally, round pieces of glass with a curvature and magnification (read more here). So, "regularly cleaning" the lens implies cleaning the outermost layer of the front- and rear-facing elements... but not the rest. I got my Minolta 200mm cleaned internally, and gosh it was expensive! (More expensive that the dang vintage lens!

What you see below is my attempt at enhancing the colours of the photo above.

So, to get a flare, basically put the doll in a slightly higher position, and crouch to aim from below. There should be something partially covering the source of light (ideally, the easiest are tree leaves). The "obstacle" should be in the middle, at roughly equivalent distance of the subject and the light-source, or closer to the latter. In this photo, I literally had no obstacle. I just aimed slightly inclined, so that the lens was not facing the light straight away, but it just came from the side. My lens had a hood, otherwise this would've been "worse".

Last comment, I tried a sepia and a black-and-white edit. Which edit do you like the most? (If any, of course!).


  1. Lens flares are beautiful. In some photography magazines they even write that you should not be afraid for the sun and learn to use it. It is an easy way to make the photos interesting. Love the third photo from above.

    1. Thank you so much! I am really trying to learn to use it, honestly. It's been so much fun!