If you’ve started out in photography shooting digital, you may think that avoiding lens flare is a bit overkill. I mean, lens flare with digital is gorgeous and fun to play with, right?? Unfortunately, it’s quite a bit trickier with film. There are definitely amazing lens flare film shots out there, but for those just starting out in film my recommendation is to simply avoid it, and here’s why.
When you allow light to hit your lens directly it acts as a bit of a ping pong ball, and instead of exposing the film to create an image by going on the correct light path through your lens, it bounces around and leaves your image with muddy shadows, low contrast and shifts in color - basically showing symptoms of underexposure, even if you metered and rated correctly.
There are a few ways to avoid this, and they’re pretty simple too!
A) use a lens hood or even your hand to block the light and keep it from hitting your lens
B) take a few steps to the side or tip your camera down
As you get more comfortable with the basics of film, play play play. Sometimes it will work out fantastically, and other times it won’t, but the more you play the more you’ll get the hang of it! Remember, the key here is to avoid light hitting your lens directly. If you want that lens flare, play around with it, just avoid shooting right into the sun.
Give this tip a go, and avoid any muddy looking images in the future!
Now get out there and SHOOT!