How to use lens flare to create atmospheric photos ...


"Usually, photographers work hard to avoid lens flare. It can be distracting, causing metering issues and introducing specular highlights. Sometimes, however, you can take advantage of it.

"For this technique to work, the sun needs to be near the edges of the frame, so check the forecast before you head out, and shoot early or late in the day when the sun is close to the horizon.

"Position your model between the camera and the sun; the low sun will backlight the subject and give you some great flare. Don’t look directly at the sun through the viewfinder, though; if you’re concerned about this, use Live View to compose your shot.

"Most manuals tell you to 'keep your lens free from dust' – well, break the rules this time! Specks of dust on your lens or filter will light up and create interesting textures.

"Just take care when taking any dust off, particularly if it’s on the front element of your lens rather than a filter. Finally, don’t just stick to one position – move around to change the perspective. Just be sure to keep your model between yourself and the sun."

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