How to Fake Sun Flare in Your Photos

There is a lot of lens technology aimed at suppressing flare and ghosting. But at times, a bit of sun flare can actually add that extra punch to a photo. You can easily create sun flare when the sun is in the frame. But what if you’re shooting in an urban environment with no possible way to include a natural sun flare? You create your own:

Ingredients for Making Your Own Sun Flare

  • Profoto B2
  • 1/2 CTO gel
  • fast lens
  • radio trigger for the B2

Fake Sun Flare Trick

The trick here is simple. Vanessa Joy uses the Profoto B2 with the 1/2 CTO gel to produce light that looks like the sun. She positions the light behind the subjects at an angle (rather than directly behind them). This creates the sort of flare you would get if you were shooting against the sun. Make sure that the light is in a lower position, just as the sun would be positioned at the golden hour.

how to fake a sunflare


Meter for the scene without taking into consideration the B2/strobe. Just take into account the ambient light. Next, turn on the radio trigger, set it to TTL / auto mode, and take some test shots.

how to create a beautiful sunflare

Next, switch to manual mode and bump up the power on the B2/strobe by about two stops. The power of the strobe will be overpowering the ambient light. In the process it’s possible to capture beautiful flare.

sun flare for portraits

Have you tried this technique?

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