This past few days has brought with it glorious sunshine. In England when the sun comes out, people go a little crazy, off come half the clothes, and everyone crowds onto the nearest patch of grass.
In my case my craziness reveals itself in my love for making things sparkle. I’ll take any excuse to create little shining stars across an image, the more or the bigger the stars, the better. To celebrate another beautiful summer morning, I thought I’d share a little tip to help you play with flare yourself.
Today it’s all about aperture.
First the techy stuff. Flare is created by the light hitting all those tiny little specks of dust and grease on the front your lens (yummy huh?). When the aperture is wide open (low numbers: f/2.0, f/3.5 etc) the light has more lens to filter through, but when you close the aperture down, making a smaller hole for the light to come through (f/16, f/22 and so on) those specks suddenly develop in relative size. When the light hits them, it refracts and creates flare. Or something along those lines.
This is a photo with sun at a lower aperture:
The flare is here, but with less definition than if I had closed down the aperture.
As I did here:
One thing to keep in mind is that as the aperture closes you’ll need to add more light to your exposure through either slowing the shutter speed down, or increasing the ISO, or some combination of the two. This means that in low light situations like this sunset photo you may end up with very slow shutter speeds, so prop up your camera (I’m lazy about actually using a tripod), or hold it carefully to avoid motion blur.
The novelty of magically creating little stars hasn’t worn off yet, so I tend to head towards the extreme when I’m playing with flare.
But look, I can add a dozen extra suns to an image! That makes me very happy.
Do you have any other tips for playing with flare?
I’d love to see your photos with flare, or just lots of sun, please share!