Shooting Challenge: Pieces of (Lens) Flare

Lens flare. Sometimes it's an annoyance, washing out photos. Other times, it's cliché. Whatever. At its best, lens flare creates something ethereal, something larger than the scope of an image can convey. And it's your Shooting Challenge for this week.

The Challenge

Capture a photograph with lens flare—and by that, I mean real lens flare, not some Photoshop filter like in our gag lead shot. As always, you can choose to make the challenge element the predominant part of your photo or allow it to speak more subtly in your work.

The Method

Of course you aim your lens at the sun (or another bright light source). But that only gets you part of the way there. I love these simple tips by Carla Ten Eyck. You should check out her lens flare portfolio walk-through in full, but read how succinctly she boils down the technique (and I'm preserving her all-caps for posterity):

• LATE AFTERNOON
• LOW ISO
• PRETTY OPEN LENS FOR THE BIG LORD OF THE RINGS FLARE
• STOP DOWN FOR CRAZY TIME SHAPES
• DIFFERENT LENSES YIELD DIFFERENT FLARE
• AND MOST IMPORTANTLY.... SEE THE FLARE IN YOUR LENS!!

The Rules - READ THESE TOO

1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos need to be taken the week of the contest. (No portfolio linking or it spoils the "challenge" part.)
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to contests@gizmodo.com, not me.
5. Include 800px wide image (200KB or less) AND a 2560x1600 sized in email. (The 800px image is the one judged, so feel free to crop/alter the larger image for wallpaper-sized dimensions.)
6. One submission per person.

Send your best entries by Sunday, June 13th at 11PM Eastern to contests@gizmodo.com with "Lens Flare" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameFLARE.jpg (800px) and FirstnameLastnameFLAREWALLPAPER.jpg (2560px) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences.

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