If you happen to’ve ever had lens flare wreck a seemingly good shot, this very simple method will prevent a ton of headache in post-processing. 

Photographing landscapes usually includes capturing many sunrises and sunsets along with your digital camera aimed in the direction of the solar. This inevitably will increase your possibilities of lens flare displaying up in your shot. Many lenses and filters have coatings to assist however nothing will totally forestall them from occurring, particularly for those who’re capturing the solar straight on the horizon. 

After spending nicely over an hour making an attempt to take away flare from certainly one of my pictures in Photoshop utilizing a slew of various instruments and methods, I advised myself by no means once more. That’s after I found out an especially straightforward methodology when capturing to skip all of the headache.

The Technique

First you’ll wish to take your essential picture. On this case I used to be taking a panoramic so ignore my composition. Discover all of the ugly flare and attempt to think about how lengthy it might take to appropriate the enormous purple spot beneath the solar in Photoshop. What do we are saying to lens flare? Not immediately!

After taking your picture, instantly take one other picture along with your hand or finger straight over the solar. Relying on the dimensions of the solar in your picture it could require a couple of finger to dam sufficient mild to cease the lens flare from displaying up. That’s all you’ll have to do within the discipline, the remainder shall be achieved in post-processing. 


Open each images into the identical Photoshop doc. If you happen to’re utilizing Lightroom you may simply choose each images, proper click on, and select Edit In > Open as Layers in Photoshop.

Be certain the highest picture in your layers panel is your essential shot that accommodates lens flare. Choose that shot and add a layer masks to it utilizing the “Add layer masks” button within the layers panel.

Choose your brush device (keyboard shortcut “b”) and ensure your foreground shade is black.

Enhance your brush measurement to a comparatively massive measurement, 400 labored for me. Hardness to 0, Mode to Regular, Opacity/Stream at 100%. Begin portray anyplace you will have lens flare in your picture. If you happen to mess up merely swap your foreground shade to white (keyboard shortcut “x”) and paint to reverse your mistake. 

If you happen to’re making an attempt to take away spots proper subsequent to your sunburst you could by accident begin eradicating the glow that surrounds the solar. This may look actually unnatural such as you see above. 

A strategy to clear up that is by merely adjusting your brush’s opacity to a decrease setting ( round 40%) if you find yourself making an attempt to take away a spot close to your sunburst. When you modify the opacity to your required energy, gently brush across the solar, switching between a black and white foreground (keyboard shortcut “x”) till the outcomes look pure. This may increasingly take some trial and error and is a first-rate instance of when a drawing pad is useful. 

Whereas your first run via of this may occasionally take a while, after masking a number of pictures this whole method will take you lower than a couple of minutes to do. Examine that to the daunting process of making an attempt to take away flare out of a picture in post-processing. Not solely does it prevent time it additionally will increase the standard of your last pictures. 


Studying this particular method a number of years in the past opened up my thoughts to how I used to be capturing within the discipline. This may be your first time masking a picture or you could be seasoned within the artwork of mixing. Both approach it turns into a device in your work and most significantly modifications the way in which you would possibly method a composition within the wild. A lot of my pictures have been ruined by lens flare and studying this has positively elevated portfolio worthy pictures I’ve introduced residence.

I might like to see what you do with this methodology or just hear if this was useful to you. Did I miss something or might I’ve defined these strategies higher? Let me know beneath.


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