Lens Flares

Project Athena - Day 140 (Lens Flare)

You were born to sparkle.

The eyes have one language everywhere.
— George Herbert

The sparkling effect behind little Kian is a different type of lens flare and one I have always avoided by using polarizing filters on my lenses to eliminate the refraction of light and make the water look smooth. Tonight, when I first saw this photo, I knew this image captured the essence of this little guy in a very special way as he is a shining star among the diamonds. I am thrilled with this shot and I know I never could have illustrated this with my normal way of shooting.

His smile is contagious.

Kian Surrounded by Diamonds

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 55-200mm lens • 100mm • F/5 • 1/1250s • ISO 400

Project Athena - Day 139 (Lens Flare)

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
— George Bernard Shaw

Boy climbing a tree

Not just any boy! Dez and Kian are here in Colorado visiting again and today we enjoyed a full day outside playing in the parks. We rode our bikes, climbed trees, skipped rocks in the river, giggled on swings of all shapes and sizes, scaled rock walls, slipped down slides, and dug in the dirt. Fun was had by all!! 

I also discovered that the boys are far more cooperative about having their photos taken when I am not trying to position them in the perfect light with the sun at the "right" angle.

I love this little guy! He has certainly been a bright shining star in my life. Tomorrow...Kian with flare.

Desmond Climbs a Tree

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 55-200mm lens • 55mm • F/4.5 • 1/200s • ISO 100

Project Athena - Day 138 (Lens Flare)

Through a window

Things do not change; we change.
— Henry David Thoreau

As the week progresses, flare is becoming a natural intoxicating design element in my photographic palette. What I once perceived as a "problem" has been literally reframed and is now as welcome in a composition as lines, patterns, or texture. I feel as though I have taken my photos up a notch by just being willing to explore in a different way. I have even figured out how to embellished images in Photoshop with lens flares including this one. Observing the change in myself is making me smile. It feels like I have freed myself from some locked room that I've always held the key to.

Masonville Bottles

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 30mm • F/10 • 1/2500s • ISO 200

Project Athena - Day 136 (Lens Flare)

Freedom in rebellion

I see this life like a swinging vine
Swing my heart across the line
And my face is flashing signs
Seek it out and you shall find
Old, but I’m not that old
Young, but I’m not that bold
I don’t think the world is sold
I’m just doing what we’re told
I feel something so right
Doing the wrong thing
I feel something so wrong
Doing the right thing
I could lie, coudn’t I, could lie
Everything that kills me makes me feel alive
— One Republic, Counting Stars

It will take two hands to count the internal rules I broke today with this post. First, I went dumpster diving on my computer to retrieve this shot that I took over a month ago! (So, no, I didn't shoot today, yet.)

I had trashed this file because apparently there was way too much thinking happening the day I assessed this image as unworthy and thought there would be no use for it, ever. Now that I look at it again, aside from it fitting the theme, the flares remind me of the quilt patterns that often hang on the outside of barns. Their placement actually add to the subject and accentuate what would otherwise just be the side of a big, old barn.

Now that flares are allowed in my picture vocabulary, I am growing fond of their appearance. What was once taboo is opening a new world of artistic expression.

Feels very freeing to break the rules and even more freeing to let go of the rules all together.

 Drake Barn, Fort Collins, CO  Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 45mm • F/36 • 1/20s • ISO 400

Drake Barn, Fort Collins, CO

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 45mm • F/36 • 1/20s • ISO 400

Project Athena - Day 135 (Lens Flare)

A flair for flare

There is more to life than simply increasing its speed.
— Mahatma Gandhi

Maybe I do have a flair for flare. I was a little blind after trying to capture this shot but still, I like the way the light dances with the shadows and finds its way to the foreground, even though it is behind the subject.

   Old Cement Truck    Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 22mm • F/20 • 1/100s • ISO 200

Old Cement Truck

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 22mm • F/20 • 1/100s • ISO 200

Project Athena - Day 134 (Lens Flare)

Time to break the rules, again.

Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
— Mahatma Gandhi

Yes, I do know that this theme was not on the original list and today is about letting go of the need to be consistent and as well as being a f*(#@*%!# "purist".

Lens flares happen. Sometimes they are cool looking. Sometimes they are distracting. Sometimes they are neither.

I have spent most of my photographic career attempting to avoid the dreaded lens/light flare because somewhere along the way I bowed down to someone else's teaching about how the flare is a perversion or it harbors some wanton desire to ruin a good picture.  So this week, out of rebellion and also the need to be inconsistent, I invite lens flares to my pictures! I will shoot from forbidden angles and avoid the shade to ensure they show up. I will even shoot midday! OMG!

Lens flares are not always visible through the camera's view finder and sometimes I don't see them until I download the pictures at home. This week will require playing with the light and breaking all the rules in hopes that it will produce the desired results.

   Lens Flare Fence    Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 18mm • F/14 • 1/200s • ISO 100

Lens Flare Fence

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 18mm • F/14 • 1/200s • ISO 100