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View Full Version : What filter to create this type of solar flare in Photoshop?




Phrasikleia
Aug 3, 2009, 01:40 PM
This photographer is obviously creating a variety of solar flares somehow, and I'm curious to know if there is a filter to accomplish it. These are quite different from any of the options available in the standard "lens flare" filter, and they're certainly not genuine products of the photographic process.

Any suggestions?



JFreak
Aug 3, 2009, 02:02 PM
I bet those pics were taken with a Canon 14mm f/2.8L without a filter, using a relatively small aperture (around f/8 or smaller). But you could perhaps get close by using a star filter on any given lens not stopped down that much.

Phrasikleia
Aug 3, 2009, 03:04 PM
I bet those pics were taken with a Canon 14mm f/2.8L without a filter, using a relatively small aperture (around f/8 or smaller). But you could perhaps get close by using a star filter on any given lens not stopped down that much.

Interesting. I really didn't think these looked genuine. I'll have to look into that lens. I really dislike having white blobs instead of nice flares when the sun is in the frame. If there is a lens that can consistently produce such an effect, then great!

Designer Dale
Aug 3, 2009, 04:14 PM
Interesting. I really didn't think these looked genuine. I'll have to look into that lens. I really dislike having white blobs instead of nice flares when the sun is in the frame. If there is a lens that can consistently produce such an effect, then great!

I don't think they are in-lens effects. The flares in different shots look too similar. I searched PhotoShop Lens Flares, and two of the links are below. Lens Flares are some of the oldest of the PhotoShop filters. They don't have Preview Buttons, you have to apply them and then back up a step if you don't like the result.

I came across a product called Knoll Light Factory that produces custom light effects for PhotoShop and Aperture. I think this is what the photographer used to add that effect. There is a demo video and trial download on the link labeled "Light Factory". Scroll down a bit on the page.

Planet Photoshop (http://www.planetphotoshop.com/lens-flare-filter-tips.html)

Scifi-Meshes (http://www.scifi-meshes.com/forums/dojo/15477-custom-lens-flares-tutorial-photoshop.html)

Knoll Light Factory (http://www.digitalanarchy.com/demos/psd_mac.html)


Dale

JFreak
Aug 3, 2009, 04:33 PM
I don't think they are in-lens effects. The flares in different shots look too similar.

They don't look similar enough to me. Look at two last pictures, they're totally different. Yes, they all share similar six-star shape, but that's it. It looks like same lens was used with two different apertures. Spread is different.

It may have been some other lens that has 6-blade aperture, but I've seen pics having effect just like those taken on that 14mm lens.

And yes, you're right, this can be mimicked to some extent using a plugin. Still, best effect is to use right optics to begin with ;)

LeviG
Aug 3, 2009, 05:18 PM
My first thought was either the lens or a filter on it, theres too much integration with the scene to be a photoshop filter in my opinion

Designer Dale
Aug 3, 2009, 05:27 PM
They don't look similar enough to me. Look at two last pictures, they're totally different. Yes, they all share similar six-star shape, but that's it. It looks like same lens was used with two different apertures. Spread is different.

It may have been some other lens that has 6-blade aperture, but I've seen pics having effect just like those taken on that 14mm lens.

And yes, you're right, this can be mimicked to some extent using a plugin. Still, best effect is to use right optics to begin with ;)

Probably right. The top one on the right has too much of an organic feel to it to be a digital effect. You could do the other three with an expensive filter in PS, but the one I'm referring to wraps around the edge of the sandstone arch in a very natural way.

But the research was interesting.

Dale

Phrasikleia
Aug 4, 2009, 01:17 AM
Thanks for your thoughts, everyone. I still think some of the flares in this photographer's pictures look a little too clean and graphic to be real, but it's good to know that this sort of effect is within the realm of possibility for a lens. Perhaps I'll pick up a star lens filter and play with that for a while.

Thanks again!

Phrasikleia
Aug 4, 2009, 07:40 AM
Little update here: I guess we can rule out the Canon 14mm f/2.8L. The photographer who took those photos shoots Pentax:

http://www.pentaxian.com/#pentaxians/die_hard/kerrick_james

His gear list is included there, as is some EXIF info for several shots that have really wonderful solar flares. At least two of them were shot with the Pentax DA 10-17mm f/3.5-4.5, and his apertures weren't particularly small (f/9.5 for one and f/6.7 for another).

One of his photos there shows dozens of little flares coming off of some reflections in water. I'm wondering if he might be using a star filter in addition.

JFreak
Aug 4, 2009, 10:11 AM
f/9.5 is rather small for digital body.

Star filter is always a possiblity, it makes a star for every direct ray of light. Check latino dance contests for reference :)

Anyway, my point was that those pics are most probably genuine and the effect comes from clever use of optics. Short focal length, small number of aperture blades and small aperture --> star effect.

I was just guessing it was the Canon 14mm because its aperture is set to this way (no ray to 12 o'clock) but then again nobody knows how these pics are cropped.

Good luck trying to get similar results :D

Phrasikleia
Aug 4, 2009, 11:23 AM
Good luck trying to get similar results :D

Surely takes a lot more than luck, but thanks. ;)

chrono1081
Aug 6, 2009, 09:44 AM
These are genuine. I think the other poster is right. Looks a LOT like the 14mm lens flares.

Id love to have the 14mm but I'm happy with my 16-35 m2. Makes great flares :D