This week I look at a recent trend in wedding photography using lens/sun flares to add an artistic touch to outdoor portraits.  Lens flare is caused by strong rays of light hitting the lens, causing an interesting sun burst effect.  It’s actually quite tough to get it right in one shot as the light is always changing, there are however some steps you can take to increase your chances of a successful shot :

  • Take multiple shots
  • Shoot in Manual mode for full control of the light
  • Use a reflector/flash to provide some fill light
  • Use Aperture f/5.6 and above for more defined rays
  • Aim to partially or fully block the light with your subject

Below you will see two shots taken from a recent wedding shoot which look very different.  The only change being my position/angle to the posing couple.  You will see from the first shot the effect is too strong with the outline of the groom being lost.  The second shot works a lot better with clear rays shining through and details being retained in both bride and groom.

sunflare wedding photo - before


sunflare wedding photo - after

Shooting at f/10 provides a clear ‘burst’ effect with defines rays but the background will also come into focus.  Try and balance this so you do not lose the focus on the couple.

It’s open to interpretation as to which one you prefer…for the couple it will be a matter deciding which one fits best in their storybook wedding album.


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