Quick tip – how to remove sun flare

I’m still working through all my images from Spain and Italy and just processed one that made me thing that it would make a good quick tip if you come across the same conditions. I was at an overlook over a square in Rome and the sun was straight ahead and directly in my field of vision. It was late in the afternoon and the shadows in the square would make for an interesting shot and so I wanted to capture it:

The technique I used to get this is really easy – no lens hood is going to help you (in fact, I never take lens hoods with me these days as they interfere when I want a polarizing filter on the lens). The trick is to take one shot normally:

and accept all the flare and loss of contrast in the main scene. Then reach out with your free hand (assuming you can hold the camera steady with one hand) and put your thumb over the sun for a second image:

I just used auto exposure as normal (well, aperture priority) which gave slightly different exposures between the two, but in reality that better exposed the two subjects – the square in one shot and the sun and sky in the other. Then a quick blend with a gradient in Photoshop is all you need to create the image I can use.

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That is a fantastic tip! Saves me so much photoshop fighting with lens flare! I should discover this trick earlier !

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