Photography tips – Sunflare

Lens flare can either be a problem or an artistic intent.  I found a great tutorial online about how sunflare is created in the camera.  That tutorial addresses sunflare as mostly a problem and how to avoid it.

I like using sunflare as an artistic addition to my photography.  I haven’t really done much with sunflare until lately.  I really love the look of how the light washes over the picture in the sun flare shots I have seen.  I started to figure out and read how to achieve this in photos, which at one time was not something photographers actually TRIED to achieve.  They didn’t want sunflare in their photos.

I still do need to work on this technique some more, but the basics is a higher/closed aperture and a low shutterspeed.  Here are some shots I have taken and the settings on each one.

Aperture            f11
Shutterspeed     1/20
Focal Length      35mm

Aperture         f16
Shutterspeed  1/30
Focal Length   35 mm

I am by no means an expert, but these are just some settings to help you along.  If you want more defined rays, I think the main thing is to have a closed aperture and slower shutterspeed to allow enough time to get those spikes.  If you want less definition and more of a “light wash” look, then open up the aperture and have a higher shutterspeed, with the light coming in from the side.  If anyone has other tips for getting sunflare, please let me know!

Also??  Be smart about your eyeballs.  Don’t look directly at the sunshine while composing.  Mama always said not to stare at the sun!


12 Replies to “Photography tips – Sunflare”

  1. Oh, the second picture is breathless!

    You’ve captured it perfectly – the vivid apples are BONUS!

    Thanks for the advice – I’m trying, but not enough practice 🙂

  2. I’ve been wanting to be able to learn this technique better too!!
    Your photos are amazing. Can’t wait to play around this week.

  3. Yes! Love me some sunflare! I’ve been working on it lately, too…I think you’ve about got it nailed!

    I’ve recently discovered a new thing…Through The Viewfinder (TTV). Have you heard of this. I am SO trying it, as soon as my vintage Kodak Duaflex camera arrives from my mother…

  4. Wow, that second shot is perfection, Stacy! Thanks for posting your settings. I think I am going to have to try it out this week.

    Gosh, the purple in that shot is so beautiful. Great image.

  5. Perfect tutorial! I am so bad about looking right at the sun…good reminder! I also think it does help if you catch the sun through trees like you did here instead of trying to get those nice rays from the direct-on sun. I’ve also had to play with my exposure a bit when trying to capture the scene exactly like I want..

  6. Awesomely gorgeous! That second one is unbelievably perfect. I have been experimenting with sunflare, too, and have come to the same conclusions as you but haven’t quite mastered it yet. I can only seem to get good flare when the sun is low in the sky during the golden hour.

  7. That first one is perfect. I love the purple and then the bright light behind it. Great shot. I think sunflare shots are hit or miss most times. You end up taking lots and lots of them and like 1. … Oh wait that’s true with photography in general isn’t. 😉

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