I have been obsessed with sun-flares since this first sun flare that I managed to capture with my iPhone (photo above). Too often in the mornings, I will be pointing my phone’s camera lens towards the sun trying to position my phone for that perfect shot of the flare, and have since gotten used to weird stares from passer-bys.
Once you are able to capture your first sun flare with your phone, it does get rather addictive. Either that, this is just one of my monologues, to confirm that I am like the only phone camera geek here.
If you are keen to try capturing your own lensflare / sunflare through your phone’s camera, here are some practical tips I have learnt capturing sun-flares from my phone :
1) It has to be a clear day when the sky is blue. The sun will be contrasted against a blue sky.
2) One of the best way to create the sun-burst effect is to have something in front of the sun to block part of the sun rays. It can be trees, buildings, clouds. Or you could easily pick up a leaf to block the sun, only allow some of the sun’s rays to emerge over the edges of the leaf to create lines of light.
3) No mid day sun please! I have found that the afternoon sunlight is too harsh and all you will see in your photo is one big blob of light over the sun. The sun is best before 9.00am or later in the day.
Photo on left taken at close to 6.00 p.m., while the photo on the left was taken at about 8.45 a.m.
4) Hold your phone camera towards the sun, and there will be some eye-squinting involved in this exercise but it helps not to stare directly at the sun. Tilt your phone at various angles so as to achieve that light refraction from the lens. Go on and click even if you can’t see anything, change to different angles and capture the photos. Trial and error can be really helpful here.
5) Once you have captured the sun flare, be careful not to have your photo too bright (i.e. over-exposed). One easy way I have tried, is to darken the exposure and increase the contrast of the colours. My favorite post processing apps available from the App store are Filterstorm and Snapseed.
One final tip.
Experiment, experiment, experiment! Don’t give up even though your first few attempts are not successful. I think sun flare has that bit of time and chance involved, and part of the fun of capturing sun flares, is that you never know what photo you are going to get at that moment when you snap the photo.
Who cares even when your photo is not sharp or not perfect, what matters is that you are having fun and capturing these beautiful moments with your phone camera, that you might otherwise forget.
So if you do get into one of those geek-wielding-phone-camera moods, do use these hashtags #happyflare #lensflare #sunflare #sporemombloggers when sharing your happy flare photos on Instagram. Will be looking forward to see your captures!