A lens flare is something we regularly see in photography and films; it’s that haze-like effect created when non-image forming light enters the lens and hits the camera’s film or digital sensor. As well as being pleasing to the eye, a great lens flare can spruce up an action scene or add whimsical beauty to a love scene, and everything in-between. Lens flares can happen by accident as well, but these days they’re used very effectively to aid the visual style or mood of a scene.
For some of those examples, check out this lens flare supercut. It runs through a variety of familiar films, including Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Guardians of the Galaxy, Gravity, and many more favorites.
If you’ve seen J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek, you might remember the abundance of lens flares he used. But you probably don’t know the actual number; there were 721 lens flares! And clearly that wasn’t enough, because Star Trek into Darkness had a whopping 826. In fact, Abrams’ addiction to lens flares has become quite comical, so much that he publicly apologized for overusing them and claims to be on the road to recovery. We’ll see if that’s true when we watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens! And if not, well, there are worse addictions.
If you liked the supercut but didn’t recognize some of the films, head to this Vimeo page for the complete list. You can also leave a comment there, if you feel that they missed any great flares.
Do you like the use of a lens flare? Have you personally used one in a film or photography project? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
HT: Slash Film
IMAGE: Jacob T. Swinney