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Don't you think this image is just screaming for a Lens Flare? Oh yes. Let's put a fake little sunrise right there peaking over that image. I'll get on the sid. All kidding aside, you might want to run a Lens Flare and we want to do a non-destructive Lens Flare effect of course, so that you don't damage your original layer. Let's begin though by just going to Filter > Render > Lens Flare. You will see we get this little dialog box with a little tiny preview and we can go ahead and position that Lens Flare where we wanted to. And I'll position it right about there. We'll click OK. Great, image looks better, yes, look at that glorious fake sunrise. Here is the problem. That we did it on the actual Background layer, which means we can't reposition the Lens Flare, lower its Opacity, scale it and flip it, animate it, whatever we want to do here.
So I'm going to undo this. Command+Z, Ctrl+Z. Instead we want to create the Lens Flare on its own layer. So I'm going to create a new layer and I want to fill this layer with black after I name it. So let's call it Lens Flare by double-clicking on the name. Great. To fill this with black. Black is my foreground color, if it's not for you press the D key on your keyboard. And then Option+Delete, or Alt+ Backspace will fill your layer with black. We want to reopen the last Filter we used. That was Lens Flare here. So I can do Command+Option+F or Ctrl+Alt+F, and that will reopen the last filter used, which in this case it's Lens Flare, and here you will see that the Preview is remembering the last location that was used in.
So I often find when I actually want to do a Lens Flare, I'll do it on the original Background first just so I can position it in the Preview area, and then I'll click OK and undo it, so that when I then run Lens Flare on the additional layer, the Lens Flare will already be in the position that it needs to be in. I'll go ahead and click OK. Beautiful Lens Flare effect now. Man, is there some way I can make those black pixels go away? Because really all I want is the bright pixels here to composite down and blend into the Background layer. Of course, we do have a blend mode that ignores black.
It happens to be Screen. And look at that. All the black pixels go away as if they weren't even there. They are now transparent. And the Lens Flare is now a separate layer, so it can be repositioned. It can be scaled, it can be dialed down its Opacity if you needed to. You can mask it if you want to. So there's before, there's after. When that client calls you and says "I really need a Lens Flare in my image," you now know a way to do it non-destructively by using your good friend, the Screen blend mode.
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