Check out more from Braylee’s session by clicking here. In this post, I share my approach to sun flare. This photo is an example of flare that spreads completely across the front of the lens creating low contrast. You can enhance or remove sun flare in Lightroom or Photoshop, but I don’t typically add it… especially if it wasn’t present in the first place.


Nikon D700: RAW
70-200mm f/2.8 lens @135mm
Shutter Speed: 1/2000
ISO 800

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Shooting mode: aperture priority with + 1/3 exposure compensation
Metering mode: pattern
Focus points: single
Focus mode: one-shot

This image was taken on December 9th at 4:15pm. It was an unseasonable warm day, the skies were mostly cloudy, and the sun was low as we were nearing sunset. I was laying on the ground so that I could take this shot at the same angle as the subject.

Using a single focus point, I focused on her nose with an aperture of f/2.8 because I love shallow depth of field. I felt completely comfortable shooting this image wide open because she was the only person in the photo. I wanted flare in the photo, so I removed the lens hood from my camera and made sure that the sun was coming in at an angle to spread across the lens (sun was camera left at about 45 degrees).

Below is the original and edited versions. Color and light adjustments were accomplished in Lightroom.

Click here for my Photoshop Retouch + Sharpening action. My entire Lightroom workshop is available online: click here for more info.

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I’m including another before and after that was shot moments later because I wanted to avoid sun flare. I put the lens hood back on and turned myself slightly away from the sun to make sure that there wasn’t any unwanted light crossing the lens. I enjoy shooting with sun flare, but I like to make sure that the majority of the photos I deliver are clean and without flare.

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