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photo diary sunflower shots

In the summer, especially if you’re shooting in Europe, the hours of daylight are much longer, which increases the chances of lens flare in your images. While strategically shot lens flares can add drama to your photos, on brighter days, they can also ruin photos. Here are our 5 tips on reducing or eliminating the flare for perfect shots every time.

Tip 1: Use a hood 

The easiest no-brainer way to reducing lens flare is by buying a hood as this instantly stops light from hitting the front of your lens. These are incredibly easy to purchase online, and we like them as they give your expensive lens a small degree of protection from the elements too.

Tip 2: Filters

Not only do filters allow you much more control (especially if you shoot as much landscape as we do), they sometimes also help reduce flare if you use coated filters. We highly recommend filters as they also protect the glass on your lens from scratches. Check out our guide to filters for everything you need to know before purchasing some.

Tip 3: Use prime lenses 

Prime lenses are less prone to flare than zooms. One reason for this is that they contain fewer internal lens elements. One cause of flare is light being dispersed inside the lens as it passes through the lens elements. The fewer elements inside the lens, the less likely you are to get flare.

Tip 4: Get creative 

Even if you stand in the shade, sometimes you just can’t avoid having the sun in your composition. In such instances, try to “hide” the sun behind objects like a street lamp or tree. This might result in a unique angle that you wouldn’t ordinarily have thought of, and the flare could lend a unique touch to your image.

Tip 5: Check your aperture and metering 

Ever wondered why in some photos, sun flares can look soft and diffused, while in others they look bold and defined? That has to do with which aperture setting was used. If you use a relatively wide aperture, (like f/5.6), you’ll get soft flares. Smaller apertures on the other hand, like f/22, gives you stronger, more defined flares. Play around with these to achieve the exact image you want – after all, photography is all about learning and experimenting!

As for metering, spot Metering handles bright light really well, so if you can, go with this metering mode.

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