What Is the Meaning of Lens Flare in Photography?

Lens flare can occur under any lighting condition, as long as there is sufficient light available to illuminate the lens. Lens flare occurs when light rays from a strong light source, generally the sun, bounce and reflect off the various components and diaphragms within your lens, and occasionally even off your sensor, resulting in possible image quality degradation and the creation of undesired objects in your photographs.

Lens flare may have a significant influence on your images in a variety of ways. Lens flare, which introduces unwanted haze into your image, might lessen the contrast in your image. Lens flare can cause halos or ghosts to appear in photographs. With a really extreme lens flare, you may even see random semi-transparent objects with shifting color intensities in your photographs if the lighting is poor.

Lens flare, on the other hand, is not necessarily a terrible thing. Lens flare may be used by professional photographers to enhance the inventiveness of their photos. For the sake of creating a realistic atmosphere for the audience, lens flare is widely used in films. Lens flare can be used to get the same effect in photography if you understand what it is and how to use it effectively.

What Is Lens Flare?

What is a lens flare and how does it work? Lens flare occurs when a source of light is much brighter than the remainder of the scene being photographed. It actually occurs when anything too bright gets captured in the background of your photograph or accidentally touches the front element of your lens. To put it another way, a lens flare is the equivalent of your camera gazing directly into the sun.

The outcome of the lens flare, on the other hand, is highly dependent on the location of the light source. Haze and low contrast may be present, as well as bizarre orbs and artifacts strewn around the image, as well as strange rainbow hues in the worst cases.

But why does this happen in the first place? Internal reflections occurring within your lens are the cause of this phenomenon. Unbelievably, there is much more to a camera lens than meets the eye when it is being used to capture images. For the light that comes via the front element of the lens to reach the image sensor within, it must pass through a series of elements and diaphragms.

Normally, when light beams are normal, they go directly through the lens to the picture plane without deviating. However, when light rays that are excessively brilliant reach the lens, they become jumbled and begin to reflect off objects that they have no business reflecting off of in the first place. A consequence of this is that light is captured in various regions of the image where it was not intended to be captured.

Lens flare, in its most basic definition, occurs when light that is too bright enters the lens and reflects off the incorrect surfaces, resulting in distortion in your images.

What Is Veiling Flare

Lens flare may be classified into two categories. You’ve got veiling flare and ghosting flare on your hands. It is possible to find both forms of flare simultaneously – but current lenses have a far simpler job removing veiling than they do removing ghosting from images.

However, what exactly is a veiling flare? You will experience this if your light source is outside the field of vision, or out of the frame, of your camera. This implies that you are not truly photographing the source of light. Consider a sun that is well out of the frame but yet bright enough to create less flare than the average.

Because veiling flare is exceedingly foggy, it may be distinguished from other types of flare. The dark areas of the image become incredibly light, colors bleed, and the entire image appears washed out. The only good news is that most current lenses are resistant to this type of damage. Lenses with specific coatings, such as nanocrystal coating, are particularly effective at reducing veiling flare.

What contributes to the worsening of veiling flare? Things like dust within your lens, dust in the air, a filthy front element, a low-quality lens filter, and the lack of multi-coating technology are all examples of what might go wrong with a lens. All of these conditions have the potential to exacerbate veiling flare.

Another issue is that some lenses just do not perform well when shooting against the sun. This has been an issue in photography for many years, and it is unlikely to be resolved at any time in the foreseeable future. In addition, lenses do become stale with time. If you’ve owned your lens for a long time, it’s possible that it’s been clogged with dust, resulting in lens flare.

If you’re experiencing problems with lens flare, it may be worthwhile to upgrade to a more recent and higher-quality lens.

What Is Ghosting Flare?

The term “ghosting flare” refers to exactly what it sounds like. Ghosting flare is a type of flare that appears as little ghosts in a particular photograph. These ghosts are frequently shown as dazzling spheres of color that appear in a straight line across the picture, beginning at the light source and progressing inward. In every one shot, depending on the strength of the flare, there might be hundreds of distinct orbs and ghost phenomena to be seen.

Sorry for the disappointment, but ghosting does not involve apparitions in the traditional sense. Quite simply, the ghosts in a ghosting flare are merely spheres and disks, and occasionally polygons, of multicolored light that are fleeing from a brilliant source of light, which is generally the sun in this case. The greater the number of components included within the lens, the greater the number of ghosts shown in the image.

When it comes to zoom lenses, this is especially true because they are infamous for having complicated designs with several different pieces. Every lens is susceptible to ghosting and flare, but zoom lenses are likely the most susceptible to these issues.

As a side note, when the lens is stopped down significantly, a ghosting flare might develop as a result of internal reflections in the lens. As the lens is shut down until it reaches its smallest aperture, this effect becomes more pronounced. The result is that with wider apertures, ghosting is less evident, but it is more noticeable in smaller apertures. This sort of ghosting manifests itself in the form of brightly colored polygon-shaped ghosts.

Is Lens Flare Good Or Bad?

Lens flare is often considered to be an undesirable thing. Nobody wants their image to be fuzzy as a result of lens flare, and nobody wants rainbow ghosts to appear in their images unless they specifically want them. In general, you want to decrease and remove lens flare to the greatest extent feasible when shooting.

Lens flare, on the other hand, might be beneficial. Occasionally, the sun may produce a sort of starburst flare that enhances the quality of a landscape shot. When it comes to using lens flare to improve photographs, there are a plethora of comparable techniques available.

Finally, it all comes down to experimenting with light and having complete control over what appears in your photographs. You should avoid looking straight at the sun through your camera lens at all costs. As far as possible, stay away from it while flaring and ghosting to your advantage while making creative and artistic selections.

How Do I Get Rid Of Lens Flare?

There are several approaches that may be used to permanently eliminate lens flare from a photograph. In order to eliminate lens flare, your lens hood is the most critical component to have. It is for this reason that professional DSLR cameras are equipped with lens hoods. They are intended to shield the sun from shining directly into your lens.

Lens hoods, on the other hand, do not completely block out the light. They are particularly engineered to combat sunspots and flare while allowing in as much light as possible to allow for the creation of stunning images. The only disadvantage of using lens hoods is that they might be cumbersome to carry about with you at times. However, because they are large and hefty, they might give the impression that you are more professional than you really are.

If you don’t have a lens hood, you may always use your palm to protect the lens from the sun. By shielding the lens with your palm, you will avoid any possibility of ghosting or flare from occurring. We have to admit that this does not appear to be very professional.

Another method of avoiding lens flare is to zoom in and choose a different focal length where the sun will not have a negative affect on your photograph. Consider zooming past the sun to avoid having any distracting ghosts appear in your photograph.

And, of course, you should experiment with other positions. If ghosting has become an issue, consider shifting your camera so that the sun isn’t exactly in the frame while you’re shooting the photo. And, if all else fails, you can simply eliminate the lens flare in post-production using a program such as Photoshop or similar.

Is it possible for lens flare to occur at night?

If you go out at night, a lens flare is almost certain to occur. Taking shots of a dark street will result in ghosting and flare in your images because the neighboring streetlamps are so bright in comparison that they act as the sun, potentially generating ghosting and flaring in your images.

When photographing at night, avoid using narrow apertures, which are known to amplify the negative effects of lens flare and hence should be avoided. It is also recommended that you utilize prime lenses with dependable coatings while photographing at night to avoid lens flare.

Surprisingly, you may also use a lens hood at night to prevent lens flare from appearing in your photos. Lens hoods are intended to filter the sun’s rays, but they may also be used to obscure the brightness of the moon or above lamps, depending on the situation.


Lens flare may be a bit of a pain in the neck. The condition occurs when the light entering your lens is excessively strong and is reflected in the incorrect direction, resulting in haziness and ghostly blurring. With the correct equipment and a little bit of skill, however, it is possible to eliminate lens flare. It is also suggested that you upgrade to a newer lens if you are suffering significant lens flare, as lens flare can occasionally be caused by an old and filthy lens.

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