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Lens flares, J. J. Abrams’ way

Did you see the Star Trek movie from 2009 by J. J. Abrams already? I’m really no Star Trek fan but when i watched that movie in the cinema, i was really thrilled by the story and the great production. At this time i haven’t dealed with photography already. A few weeks ago, i saw the movie again in the cinemas and i thought “Wow, the light and these lensflare are awesome!”. I bought the Blu-Ray (just because of the flares) and when i watched it, i thought “Oh my god, WOW! This light, these flares! It’s ingenious!”. I wanted to try the same thing for photography so i was doing some research to find out, how these flares have been created and it’s less CGI work than expected. I found this making-of:

Apparently two things are necessary: Anamorphic lenses and direkt light into the lens, coming from out of the frame. Ok, the light-thing was no problem. I did it the same way, as J. J. Abrams: I used a torch-light, ajdusted directly into the lens. My torch-light was pretty weak so i had to get close to the lens but it was no big problem. The Anamorphic look for the lens-flares was harder to create. There are two possiblities: Anamorphic adaptors or Photshop. I used the last one and it worked pretty well for me! For sure, my result is not as spectacular as J. J. Abrams’ movie but i’m really satisfied for the first try. the next weeks, i’ll try to improve this technique and get some more information about this topic. Ok, the location wasn’t perfect for my photo and the style but i couldn’t find a spaceship-cockpit 🙂 Anyway i think it’s very charming to created such lights because the observer gets the feeling, something is happening outside of the frame, which let’s the imagination create the rest of the picture. It’s my bands’ drummer, Sascha on this photo.

I can only recommend J. J Abrams’ Star Trek movie to every photographer who loves backlight and lensflares. Even if you’re not a Star Trek fan (like me), you will definitely enjoy the movie! You’ll get some ispiration for using light and you will lose the constraint to use backlight and lesnflares.

I also created a little making-of with my light-setup for you:

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Kai
    November 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    gut gemacht. gefallen mir auch insgesamt sehr gut, deine fotos. grüße, kai

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