What are Lens Flares & How to Avoid Them

A lens flare is a phenomenon occurring when excessive light is scattered and flared into the camera lens, creating multiple optical artifacts that form when light rays are refracted.

This flared illusion creates when the bouncing refracted light reaches the camera sensor; they often appear as polygon shapes, halos, bright streaks & washed out images. Lens flare usually occur when shooting directly into daylight conditions like bright sunlight, as well as shooting using a wide angle lens. These flares can distort the quality and resolution of an image, as well as desaturate and lower the contrast of an image. While photographers usually do not aspire to have lens flares in their photos, there are lens flare methods that can be applied to make a shooting style unique.

4 Tips on how to avoid Lens Flares

Lens Hoods

An affordable accessory that helps remove the effects of lens flares -- its purpose is to shade the camera lens from additional light entering outside the present viewing angle.


When initially identifying a lens flare, changing the angle of the light source will reduce the flareā€™s impact. When shooting during the daylight, compose the shot in the opposite direction of the sun; shading the shot from intense daylight can reduce the appearance of glare entering the lens.

Lens Filters

Filters are another great accessory to optimize a camera while reducing the amount of lens flare.

A Clean Lens!

Lens flares often occur when smudges and specs are present on the camera lens -- ensure the lens is spotless by carrying around a cotton or microfiber cloth.

-- article by: Marc Bowler