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What is lens flare? There are plenty of technical answers to this question, but here is a simple one for easy understanding. A lens flare is best described as an occurrence where a point of light brighter than the rest of the scene reflects off the surfaces inside the camera. It is majorly caused by a bright light source hitting the front element of a lens and then getting scattered in the lens system. We will also be viewing some ways through which lens flaring can be minimized and utilized to create superb video effects. Enjoy.

Lens Flare Usage

Is lens flare good or bad? This is another concept that goes well with the question, “what is lens flare?”.

Flaring can be bad, especially when they take up a huge chunk of the shot; however, it is also welcome in some cases where videographers are going for a cinematic effect. Anamorphic lenses are particularly used to shoot flares that create a streaking effect.

The key to utilizing lens flares is control. Finding the balance between the light and the subject gives the edge needed for creating incredible shots, for example, the golden hour (1). In addition, the flare effect can be added through Photoshop after shooting a regular video.

How to Get Rid of Lens Flare

However, if the particular shot does not require flaring, here are a few tips on how to get rid of it.

  • Lens Hood. Using a lens hood is a trusted means of completely removing flare effects. The lens’s front element is protected and shaded from direct contact with harsh light. It works like placing a hand on your forehead to prevent stray lights from entering the eyes.

“One of the best ways to utilize flaring is shooting at the golden hour. The lighting is usually less intense at this time, while the lens can also capture warm tones and golden flares.”

  • Light positions. This method is perhaps the easiest and most versatile of all available options. Shooting into the sun or any direct light source is the number one way to create flares; the simplest solution is to not shoot into them.

  • Lens type. Flaring is caused by light reflecting off the glass surfaces in lenses, which is why zoom lenses are more susceptible to lens flare than prime lenses. The extra glass elements afford the user special features; however, if flaring is really important, then prime lenses might be a better option.

Other ways include using a filter (2), hand shielding, etc.

F. A. Q

Lens filters cannot block flare; they can only reduce it. Using a filter adds to the total flare effect as it involves more glass elements; however, using a multi-coated model helps keep the occurrence at a minimum.

An anamorphic lens is designed with extra glass elements that allow users to capture a wider angle of view. It achieves this feat by squeezing the image more horizontally than regular sensors would allow.


Since we now know the answer to the question “what is a lens flare?” it’s easier to understand that a lens flare can make or mar your shot depending on how well it’s controlled. 

Avoid shooting into a direct source of light if you don’t want flares damaging your video; however, if appropriately done, the flaring can be used to create an aesthetically pleasing image.

Did you learn something new about lens flares? Or do you have some suggestions on how we can improve the article? Why don’t you leave a note for us in the comments section?


  1. Alyssa Maio. (April 26, 2020). When is Golden Hour? How to Capture the Perfect Light. Retrieved from
  2. Lewis McGregor. (Feb 03, 2021). Are Clear UV Filters a Pro or Con for Expensive Lenses. Retrieved from