How to photograph sun flares: 5 tips to know


Creating a sun flare is a really unique photographic technique that’s relatively simple to create, without any extreme post-processing requirements. Done well, sun flare’s have the ability to add a beautiful feature spot to your photographs to draw your audience’s eye in. Here are a few key tips and tricks to help you to shoot better sun flares. 


Shoot directly into the sun
You create a lens flare by capturing strong rays of light hitting your camera directly, causing a burst. Whether you place the sun in the corner of your frame or through a subject such as a tree or a person, the burst will come out of that area.

Keep an eye on your focus
Your camera will want to focus on the subject that’s best lit within your frame. Shooting into the sun directly challenges this, so our suggestion is to put your camera on manual mode to minimize the risk of it wanting the camera to shift focus.
Adjust your aperture to the type of sun flare you want
By adjusting your aperture, you can create a diffused sun flare or a bold sun flare. With a wider aperture, you’ll get soft flares. Small apertures such as f/22 will give you defined flares.


Use filters
Filters can be extremely useful when photographing sun flares. We’ve outlined some of the different types of filters you can use depending on what you’re trying to achieve below.

Graduated Neutral Density: Because these filters are light at the bottom, and dark at the top- they can prevent the image from getting blown out when you’re shooting directly into the sun.

UV Filter: We suggest you always have a clear UV filter when shooting outside. Because you’re shooting directly into the sun, this will help protect your camera’s sensor from getting damaged. 

Use a tripod and shutter release
This is especially pivotal when you’re using a smaller aperture setting. The last thing you want is a camera shake to mess your flare and photograph up, so using a tripod and shutter release will guarantee your image to be sharp and defined. 


When shooting sun flares, experimenting and trying different set-ups is key. Take a ton of different shots, change your angle, and adjust your aperture. When you’re trying to capture sun flares, you have the ability to have a variety of different photo types in a single session. Have any tips and how-tos for fellow photographers on shooting great sun flares? Share them in the comments!

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