Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lens Flare on a Winter's Day

Lens flare is an interesting phenomenon, the optical streaking created by the prismatic effect of lens coatings. Radiant flashes are an artifact of the photographic process but we have come to see them as almost reality. The visual effects for Close Encounters of the Third Kind were based entirely in the mechanism of lens flare, thousands of individual lights registering through a variety of lens coatings to create that signatory 'look.' This photo was serendipitous, a low sun coming through racing clouds soon after showers, so the ground was wet enough to reflect the sky. I took this shot in the High Street, Stockton, UK, in November 2006. The year was heading fast toward snow, you can see how low the sun was, and this was around 11 in the morning. I simply framed and shot, automatic exposure brought up the hard contrast, and there was no electronic enhancement of this photograph for publication. Image by Mike.

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