As a private pilot, this used to means something good that I did I did upon landing (don’t flare and you bump into the runway hard).

But as a photog, it is a bad thing, that I have mentioned before. To avoid it, use a lens hood, do not use filters, and point away from that incoming light. But as you recall from the post a few days ago, it can nevertheless sometimes be good, remember:

Kim Gorenko (Photo: Michael Willems)

So let’s talk a little more about techniques to do this:

  1. I aim a light (the sun? a flash? In my case here it was a 430EX off-camera flash) into the lens while keeping it out of the actual shot.
  2. I may remove the lens hood – that is there, after all, to prevent flare
  3. I do remove filters: I want flare to be controlled by me, not by  optical mistakes that happen as a result of the bouncing of light between my filter and my lens elements.
  4. And most importantly: I try various angles – very close to the lens I may see lens elements and aperture shapes etc.
  5. If I see Aperture artefacts, then I think about my aperture: small or large? If not fully open, these artefacts, of they show, will takle on the shape of the aperture (a pentagon or hexagon, usually).

Final question: Why not do in in post-production?

Sure – you can of course do this in Photoshop – but it is often more fun, and less work, to do it in person than to try and recreate it later.