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The Visual Toolbox: 60 Lessons for Stronger Photographs by David duChemin

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Lesson 35. Light: Lens Flare

I read something recently on a list of “Here’s a bunch of things that make a photograph weak”—which always amuses me because the moment you tell me, “Don’t do it,” I want very badly to do it. The article explained how lens flare was a weakness in an image, a result of either cheap optics or lazy photography. Which made me laugh because I try very hard to achieve lens flare with some of my very best lenses. In fact, lens flare is an effect that motion picture animators go to great lengths to re-create in order to strengthen a sequence by adding realism and drama. The Director of Photography (DOP) for my favorite sci-fi series, Firefly, had such a hard time achieving the lens flare he wanted with the expensive cinematic ...

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