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Lens flare for effect

slravenslraven Member
edited July 2013 in portraits & people
Hi guys

I went out to experiment with Neil's lens flare techniques which he describes here:


And I'm wondering what you thought of the results. Personally, I was a bit disappointed and I'm hoping I could get an idea of where I went wrong.

Here is the final image.


Canon 5DMKII 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II without hood or filter
1/500 @ f/5.6 @ ISO 500

The sun was starting to go down, although it was not particularly low. I spot metered for the child's face by zooming in and stepping close. I shielded the sun from the lens with my hand. I then stepped back and composed so the sun was in the shot. This was the original, pre-processed shot:


Any tips on how to make it more effective?


  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited July 2013
    Hi Stacey,

    I think there is too much wasted space at top, a tighter crop would be beneficial IMO.

    Now, as to the image itself, you have a very salvageable image there, it just needed more contrast and editing to get rid of the green casts on her skin, darken down the hot spot of grass on her [your] left and you will have a cracker of an image.

    I also warmed her face and the top part of pic to reflect a more 'golden' appeal of sun instead of too much green.

    Other fixes were brightened the dress but added more detail to it and the blue embroidery on the bottom I added more detail in that to make it stand out more from the white.

    Love the 'cutie' look she is projecting while not looking at camera. Great capture, just needs the editing.

    Quick fix on small file attached.

    oh left cropped original at bottom also to easily show the difference.



  • TrevTrev Moderator
    Here is another version (square crop) but this time I outlined what I did.

    Photoshop with Nik Viveza Plug-in.

    2 control points on the top tree line with following:

    Contrast 20%
    Structure 70%
    Shadows -80%
    Warmth 50%
    Red 15%
    Green -15%

    Control Point on girl's face
    Brightness 30%
    Warmth 65%
    Red 4%
    Green -20%

    Control point on the reddish shrub on girl's left
    Contrast 50%
    Structure 55%
    Shadow -80%
    Warmth 30%

    Control Point on girl's white dress
    Brightness 30%
    Contrast 20%
    Structure 50%
    Warmth 30%

    Control Point on blue embroidery bottom of dress
    Brightness 20%
    Structure 80%

    Control point on grass girl's right
    Brightness -40%
    Warmth 13%


  • Thanks Trev. I really need t play with Viveza more.

    Neil (anyone) - does the technique work better the lower the sun is?
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    Stacey ... yup ... the more back-lit your subject, the better. Not just for your subject, but in how the background appears.
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