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By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Using Photoshop Lens Flares for Good (Not Evil)

Using Photoshop Lens Flares for Good

Lens flares have been the butts of cruel jokes for too long. It’s time to salvage the lens flare, to liberate it from heavy-handed users like J.J. Abrams (director of fx-laden movies like Star Trek and Super 8) and put it back in the good graces of photographers and videographers everywhere.

The key is subtle application.

In this episode of Deke’s Techniques, Deke shows how to create lens flares with Photoshop that work for the good of your composition, combining it with an angled rainbow gradient to create a realistic reflective surface—in the window of the 3D rocket ship he introduced last week. Watch and learn how to mask the Lens Flare filter to the window area, position the flare, and apply a rainbow gradient to the edges of the window. Deke also shows how to add a drop shadow to make the effect even more realistic. And should you find the lens flare still too obtrusive, Deke shows you how to dial back the brightness.

Come back next week for a look at a little-known feature called the Perspective Crop tool in Photoshop.

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