One of the biggest challenges photographers face is shooting in midday sunlight, because you have to deal with the shadow of the object, dark blow-out in the image and lens flare.

If used in the correct way, lighting can enhance the picture, while the opposite is true if you lose control over lighting [Lighting techniques], i.e. ‘lens flare’.

When harsh lighting enters the lens, it gets distracted and produces different textures in the images. These patterns of lighting are known as lens flare, or unwanted lighting which disturbs the image texture and background.

While every photographer tries their level best to control lens flare in their images, most apprentice photographers need guidance on how to reduce it, as photo editing software is not capable of performing the correction. Here’s how to go about it:

Eliminating lens flare in images:

Lens hoods: Professional photographers’ main tool to cut down lens flare is the lens hood, which are separate attachments which come with many digital cameras and DSLR (Digital Single Reflex Lens) cameras.

These lens hoods protect the lens from harsh sunlight and prevent lens flare from forming, while giving way to the required light. Lens hoods come in a range of sizes to match a variety of lenses of different focal lengths and zoom lengths. The drawback of the lens hood is that it is very hard to carry because of its size.

Hand: If carrying a lens hood to control the lens flare is a concern for you, try controlling the lens flare with your hand instead. When you place your hand on the lens, you can shield the lens from the sun and cut down the lens flare. Make sure that your hand does not interrupt the image and that your fingers do not come in between the lens and the object.

Zoom: This is also a good means of controlling the lens flare. By zooming into the subject, you can control the lens flare to some extent. While zooming into the object may not completely remove the lens flare from the image, it will cut the flare to some extent without using other methods.

Change the position: A change in position can cut down the light frequency entering the lens.  If you can observe the lens flare in your images, the best method to cut down the effect is to reposition yourself. If you are shooting objects in direct sunlight, stand in the shade before clicking the images.

If this is not possible, try to change the height of the object (make them sit, stand on something higher than them) or at least your height (lie down, knell, shoot from a position of height).

Photo credit: Mustafa Sayed


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