How to create lens flares and light leaks on set

Lately I’ve been using a few different techniques to add an extra level of depth to my shots. One of the ways I’ve been doing this by adding my own lens flares to my footage.

flaresLens flares are a natural occurrence (and sometimes an annoyance) when film in any big light source. This is most common when you are pointing you camera in the direction of the sun. There are two results from this: you can either get visible artifacts – the light will create shapes on the lens. Or, you will see a haze like effect over certain parts of the image, this creates a washed out look on screen -reduces the contrast, adds light to darker regions and lowers the overall saturation.

light leaks

There are a few ways to achieve these effects. The first, as mentioned before, is to face the direction of the sun, slowly change your angle until you start to see a lens flare appear. If your lens does not have a lens-hood, you will start to see a lens flare quickly quickly as stray light will start to enter your image.

Another way to create a light leak is to detach the lens slightly from your camera. Basically you’re creating a tiny gap that will allow a small bit of light to hit your camera sensor, or film. These light leaks are quite strong and will boost the white areas of your film – it’s a distinct look but one that can really look good. Alternatively, you can purchase pre-made effects online from a variety of vendors. These effects have been made in a studio and you can quickly integrate them into your “clean” footage during post production. You can also view my post on my favorite after effects plugins here.

If you’re filming indoors and finding a strong light source is a bit hard to find. You can always try pointing a flashlight into your lens from just outside of frame. If your lens is detached the light will creep in nicely creating a light leak. If it’s not, you will still get a cool looking lens flare on the image.

Stay tuned for more tips on how you can create interesting looking images for almost no money.

Best Videos Shot On A GoPro

I’ve expressed my love for all things GoPro. That little sucker seriously packs a lot of punch. I’m constantly surprised how good the video quality can be for something so small. The latest version of the GoPro, the Hero 3, records 4k video at 15 frames per second and can record 120 frames per second at 720p. Along with these amazing specs are a series of accessories that will really take your videos to the next level. From suction cup mounts to underwater housing units, these guys have thought of everything. One of my favourite features of the new camera is the ability to use an app on your smart phone to control the camera.

I’ve compiled a few videos that show how remarkable the quality of this camera really is. If you’re looking for a list of other cameras make sure to check out my post on other cameras under $600

GoPro Videos

This video, released by GoPro, follows Kevin Richardson as he lets a crew document his passion for lions and the bond he’s formed with a particular group of lions. You really get a sense of the size, scale and detail of the creatures in a way that has never been photographed before. His chest camera-mounted lets you experience the power of these creatures first hand.

This video about pelican learning to fly for the first time is incredible. The story is impressive as well as the recover and teaching methods of the individuals in the video. What’s really striking in the camera angle, it’s something that has never been seen before. It was probably never even possible before. Check out the video to see some amazing visuals. It doesn’t even look real.

Okay, this final one is a bit cheesy but it definitely take you back to a time when everyone had a copy of Goldeneye on their N64.

Here’s a final compilation video that shows the range of these camera – snow, water, dirt, air – is there anything these cameras can’t handle?