How to remove lens flare in Photoshop

How to remove lens flare in Photoshop

How many times have you shot a killer image at golden hour only to find it practically ruined by ugly lens flare? Learn how to quickly and easily remove lens flare from your landscape images in Photoshop. This is an essential technique for all photographers who often shoot landscapes and cityscapes at sunrise and sunset with the sun in the frame.

The easiest way to remove lens flare is to clone it out, but quite often lens flare can be too large for simple cloning and may cover complex areas. In these situations, the technique in the video tutorial below will show you how to remove lens flare from images where the flare covers complex areas. 

How to remove lens flare in Photoshop

If you find yourself shooting directly towards the sun, typically at sunrise and sunset, this technique will allow you to rescue images where the flare was ruining the shot. In images where there are a number of spots in different places you can often use one set of Layers to remove the flare. You simply use the Layer Masks to target the different flare spots.

Before and after


How to remove lens flare in Photoshop


How to remove lens flare in Photoshop

In the image used for the tutorial the lens flare in’t as prominent as it can sometimes be. But even when it’s relatively small, it immediately draws the eye to the flare rather than to the focal point in the image which can ruin an otherwise perfect image. 

How to reduce lens flare

How to reduce lens flare when shooting landscapes

When you’re shooting there is a simple way that you can reduce the amount of lens flare in your shots. To do this you’ll need to be shooting in manual mode to ensure that exposure is identical in the two shots you’ll need to take. Set up your camera as usual with the necessary filters attached and take a shot like the one on the left. Next take a second shot and cover the sun with your hand.

With the two images you can now blend the two together in Photoshop, using the sky from the shot on the left and the ground from the shot on the right. By covering the sun in the shot on the right the amount of lens flare in the lower two thirds of the image has been drastically reduced.

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