Flare Flair

Every time a photographer points a camera into the sun, a lens designer somewhere sheds a tear. That’s because even the best optics are going to show their flaws when directly blasted with light. The phenomenon is called lens flare.

Lenses are designed to represent reality in certain objective ways. This predictable outcome is ideally suited for making photocopies of documents or capturing cells in a microscope.

A portrait is a different story.

When photographing a person, I don’t want a clinical result. That’s why I’m so drawn to craft techniques that add a bit of mystery to the image. Lens flares, shallow depth of field and selective focus are the ones I turn to most often.

This frame from a San Diego session incorporated all three.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.

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