How to add sun flare using Lightroom





In my previous tutorial I showed how to create sun and sun flares using Photoshop, this time I show you how to create sun flares using Lightroom. You will be surprised how easy it is and try it yourself. But there is a BUT. This effect wont work on every picture, which mean you need to find the right kind of picture, otherwise if wont look natural. Specificity you need the right type of light, this effect wont work on shots which are front lit. Sun flares will look best on photographs where light is coming into the scene from one of the sides or from one of the top corners and creates shadows on your subject. Lets import photo in Lightroom and get right to it.


This shot will work because as you can see light comes into the scene from the top right corner and girls face is nicely lit from the side. So first things first, edit the shot as you normally would, adjust shadows and highlights, white point and black point ect. I’m going to skip it this time, if you would like to know how basic adjustments are done check my previous tutorials.

I am going to use Radial Filter ( Shift + M ) tool to create sun flare. Lets select the tool and reset the sliders, to do that click twice on Effect or hold Alt key and click on Effect once ( you will notice that Effect turns into Reset). Then turn Exposure up pretty high, remember that we can adjust it later at any time. I mentioned that the light is coming from the top right corner so I am going to put sun flare from that side. Lets create huge circle. You will notice that it is backwards, the middle is dark and the side is bright. Click on Invert Mask box which will invert radial filter. If the effect is too bright turn the Exposure down until you are happy with it. s2 The next thing we are going to do is warm it up. To do that we are going to adjust the Temperature slider, move to the right. Again this is to your personal taste and the number will vary on every image. For this image I am going to bring it up to around 40, in some cases you might want to turn Tint down a little, but don’t go too far because the image will turn green.


Our picture is taking shape, as you can see I have added some glow to top right corner which created dreamy atmosphere in the image.

Note that you can readjust the filter at any time, you can grab it in the middle and place it to anywhere you want in the picture. You can also change the shape and adjust the temperature, exposure, add some clarity etc.

The next thing we are going to do is adjust the feathering slider. This slider allows you to control how soft radial filter gets towards the edges. In this case I will move it up a little to make it more soft and natural looking. So play around with the slider and find what suits your image the most.

s4I am happy with how it looks, however you might notice that colours in the bottom left part of the picture are not as warm as where we applied radial filter. Lets close it down and warm up the entire picture. To that go to Basic panel and move Temperature slider up just a little.

s5I am pretty happy with how it turned out, the last thing I’m going to do is add a little vignette. To do that go to Effects panel. If you move the amount slider to the left it will add black vignette and if you move it to the right it will add white vignette. In this case I am going to use white one.


And that’s pretty much it, we have added a sun flare to our image. As you can see it is very easy to do and takes only couple minutes, but makes a very big difference to the image. This effect is perfect for life style and wedding pictures and is very popular. Hope you liked this tutorial and learned something new. Have fun!


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