BetterPhoto Q&A
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Photography Question 
Linda Sandbo

Lens flare: How to Reduce It?

Besides using a lens hood, is there a special filter to reduce lens flare? I love sunrise shots, but always seem to get flare in some of my shots. Thanks.

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1/10/2009 8:02:06 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  If your polarizer is not multicoated, then try another that is. You can also change the framing of your shot so that the flare is less apparent. For example, if the sun is off to the side, the ghosting reflections will angle across the frame, but moving the sun dead center will put the ghosting reflections on top of the sun. Use Depth of Field Preview since the flare will vary with aperture. If you want your final composition to have the sun off to the side, then zoom out - center the sun - then crop in post-processing to get the framing desired.
Otherwise, any zoom with 15 to 20+ lens elements (each surface a source of reflection/flare) is going to be problematic shooting into the sun.

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1/10/2009 8:40:46 AM

Tony Sweet
Tony's Photo Courses:
2-Week Short Course: A Quick Start to Adding More 'Pop' to Your Images
  Shooting into the fireball when it's low on the horizon can be one way to avoid flare, but only if the sun is like a big orange tomato. If it comes up hot (really bright), flare is going to happen. No filter will fix it and nothing else can help you avoid it. Actually, the light 30 minutes before and after sunrise/sunset is more interesting if there are clouds. Aside from using the depth of field preview, which is tough to see at times, an easier way is to just look at the front of the lens. If you see a bright pin spot, you have flare. BUT, shooting in an area with some atmosphere: blowing sand or water (mist), like at the ocean, can suppress flare and look good.

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1/12/2009 4:47:13 AM

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