Mastering Lens Flare in Phone Photography: Tips and Tricks

Lens flare can transform ordinary photos into extraordinary pieces of art, adding a touch of magic and drama. With the power of modern smartphones, creating stunning lens flare effects is within your grasp. Here’s a comprehensive guide from Lens Flare on how to harness this technique to elevate your phone photography.

What is Lens Flare?

Lens flare occurs when light directly hits the camera lens, causing a scattering of light that can create unique and artistic effects in your photos. While traditionally considered a flaw, lens flare has become a popular creative tool for photographers looking to add a dynamic and ethereal quality to their images.

1. Choosing the Right Time and Place

The key to creating beautiful lens flare is to shoot during specific times of the day when the light is softer and more diffused. The best times are:

  • Golden Hour: The hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset. The sun is lower in the sky, providing warm, golden light that enhances lens flare effects.
  • Blue Hour: Just before sunrise and just after sunset. The softer light can create subtle and enchanting lens flares.

Location Tip: Open spaces with a clear view of the horizon, such as beaches, fields, and urban landscapes, are ideal for capturing lens flare.

2. Positioning Your Camera

To achieve the desired lens flare effect, you need to position your camera correctly:

  • Angle: Tilt your phone slightly towards the light source. Experiment with different angles to see how the light interacts with your lens.
  • Partial Obstruction: Partially obstruct the light source with an object, such as a tree, building, or even your hand, to create a more controlled and artistic flare.

Pro Tip: Use the rule of thirds to place the light source off-center, creating a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing composition.

3. Using Manual Controls

Most modern smartphones come with manual camera settings that allow you to have greater control over your shots:

  • Exposure: Lowering the exposure can help you manage the intensity of the lens flare and prevent the image from being washed out.
  • Focus: Manually adjust the focus to ensure your subject is sharp, even with the bright light in the frame.
  • ISO: Keep the ISO low to reduce noise and maintain image clarity.

App Recommendation: Consider using apps like Camera+ (iOS) or Manual Camera (Android) that offer advanced manual controls to fine-tune your settings.

4. Utilizing Accessories

Enhance your lens flare photography with these accessories:

  • Lens Attachments: Clip-on lenses, such as wide-angle or anamorphic lenses, can help you achieve unique flare effects.
  • Lens Hoods: While traditionally used to reduce flare, strategically using a lens hood can help you control the flare’s direction and intensity.

Accessory Tip: Experiment with different types of lenses and hoods to discover how they alter the lens flare in your photos.

5. Editing Your Photos

Post-processing is crucial for perfecting your lens flare images:

  • Adjust Brightness and Contrast: Fine-tune the brightness and contrast to highlight the lens flare without overpowering the subject.
  • Enhance Colors: Use editing apps like Snapseed or Lightroom Mobile to boost the colors and make the flare more vibrant.
  • Add or Intensify Flare: Apps like Lens Distortions allow you to add or enhance lens flare effects, giving you greater creative control.

Editing Tip: Be subtle with your edits to maintain a natural look and avoid over-processing, which can make the flare look artificial.

6. Creative Uses of Lens Flare

Lens flare can be used to add a creative touch to various types of photography:

  • Portraits: Position the flare behind your subject for a dreamy, backlit effect.
  • Landscapes: Use the flare to emphasize the sun’s position and add depth to your scenic shots.
  • Urban Photography: Capture the sun reflecting off buildings and windows to create a dynamic, cityscape vibe.

Creative Tip: Incorporate lens flare in storytelling, using it to convey emotions and enhance the narrative of your photos.


Lens flare, when used creatively, can elevate your phone photography to new heights. By understanding the best times to shoot, mastering manual controls, utilizing accessories, and fine-tuning your edits, you can create stunning images that captivate and inspire. Embrace the beauty of lens flare with your smartphone and let your creativity shine!

Discover more photography tips and tricks at Lens Flare, and don’t forget to share your stunning lens flare photos with us on social media using #LensFlareMagic!

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