Use a Lens Flare fil­ter to add drama

Practical Photography (UK) - - Photoshop Geniius -

US­ING A LENS FLARE CRE­ATIVELY is one of the old­est tricks in the book for videog­ra­phers. Shoot­ing with the sun creep­ing into a cor­ner of the viewfinder, light is scat­tered in­side the lens bar­rel, pro­duc­ing ab­stract pat­terns. This looks great on stills too, mak­ing them ap­pear stylishly washed-out and hazy.

It’s easy to in­ject a lens flare into your pics if they don’t al­ready have one, us­ing the Lens Flare fil­ter in Pho­to­shop. We’ve got a few a tricks that’ll help you fine-tune the ef­fect and get the flare look­ing ex­actly how you want it to.

Add a flare

Open your pic and go to Layer>New>Layer. Then hit D fol­lowed by X, for a black back­ground colour, and hit Ctrl+Delete to fill the Layer with black. Go to Fil­ter>Ren­der>Lens Flare, click the Lens Type you like, set Bright­ness to 150% and click on the Lens Flare win­dow to set the di­rec­tion of the lens flare. Hit OK when you’re done to ap­ply it to your shot.

Blend and re­size

In the Lay­ers panel, change the blend­ing mode of the flare Layer to Screen. The lens flare will now be gen­tly blended in, though you can soften its ef­fect even more by re­duc­ing the Layer Opac­ity. To re­size the flare, hit Ctrl+T to put it into Free Trans­form mode. Make sure Con­strain Pro­por­tions is ticked in El­e­ments, or hold the Shift key down in Pho­to­shop as you pull the cor­ner han­dles of the bound­ing box to re­size. You can also drag it in to po­si­tion. Hit Re­turn when you’re done.


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