How to Enhance Fake Flares

Cloudy days don’t have to ruin your shoot if you’re hoping to capture sun flares. By strategically placing and using flashes, you can recreate sun flares and enhance them in post. Please note, if you add flare to one image, be sure to do so for all of the images in that scene; otherwise, the image with fake flare will not match the rest of the images. Do it for the scene, or don’t do it at all.

Our approach to enhance fake flares:

  • Expose for ambient light
  • Find light direction
  • Place flash to follow light direction
  • Add a flash gel (CTO is optional)
  • Set flash power (typically to 1/1)
  • Angle flash to shoot towards lens

Exposure goals for enhancing fake flares:

  • Maximum dynamic range
  • Bias: Preserve shadows