How to Create the Sun Flare Effect in Your Photos

We have all seen the “sunburst” effect, where the sun appears as a star in the photograph…..

Saw this great sunrise while camped out Takhlakh Lake, near Mt. Adams.

I had actually discovered how to this “accidentally” while shooting with my new Tokina AT-X116 Pro DX II lens on my Canon 80D camera.

I was noticing with this lens that I would often get a “sunburst” effect while shooting with the sun in the frame.

This effect can be used to create a focal point in your photo, and make it more interesting, in my opinion.

It can also be used for balance, to “even out” areas of interest within your photograph.

I feel this effect on this sunset helps balance and add mood to this photo.

So how do I do this?

Pretty easy…set your aperture as high as it goes (I use f/22), and set your focus on the entire scene (don’t use spot focus).

I look through the viewfinder until I see the most intense beam from the sun, then focus and take my shot.

A tripod helps, but it’s not completely necessary unless you use a slower shutter speed. I shoot in AV mode, so I let the camera decide which shutter speed to use.

Tip: try to get the sun slightly obscured by something, such as trees or mountains in the above photos. This helps reduce the glare just a bit, and I find it gives out sharper rays.

Give this a try, and let me know how it works by commenting below!

Have fun shooting out there!

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