Is My Lens Flare Artistic Or Just Annoying?

KRyan wrote on 10/15/2014, 11:07 AM
Can I get opinions from more experienced film and video makers? I thought this thing I did was artistic but my wife thought it was a mistake and thinks it's just annoying.

I'm working on a music video, and one shot has me outside with the sun behind me filtering through a tree. I wanted a bit of lens flare (is that the right term for this?) so I had the camera person move in front of me to allow the sun to shine directly through every now and then. If my wife is correct, and it is too much/doesn't look good, is there something then that I could do in Vegas Pro (12) to minimize it?

I clipped a few seconds of the this sun flare from the video:




Grazie wrote on 10/15/2014, 11:32 AM
Ken, just adding to your "debate" here.

How about seeing Lens Flare on Historical/Period Story lines? Now, yah just know that ALL the techies on the shoot would have guarded against this, that's a given. Then . . . then . . . what appears to be the decision is to add it back-in POST? - I can only think that the Editor/Director . . or whoever, is latching into the modern vernacular to show Lens flare, as part of this whole post modernist (actually I now need a post- post modernist term . . we're now in the 21st century . . ) cinematic lexicon. I have to admit I kinda like it, and have been accepting of it.



VMP wrote on 10/15/2014, 12:41 PM
I say it looks much better than the Jj Abrams Lens flare feast.

Which is what directly comes into mind if I hear the word 'lens flare'.

wwjd wrote on 10/15/2014, 12:43 PM
It's all on the viewers interpretation. Bothered your wife, didn't bother me in the slightest.

As the ARTist, do whatever you like for your "ART".
larry-peter wrote on 10/15/2014, 1:03 PM
To me it's all about context. It works for me in the context used, although it's a medium-wide shot and the sun "flare" only takes up a small percentage of the well-exposed frame. Could be that's whats throwing your wife. If I were to have a go at that shot, I'd make it a bust shot of you and really let the sun fog the frame out when it pokes through. If you have an artistic idea, commit to it and go for it.
KRyan wrote on 10/15/2014, 1:28 PM
Thanks everyone! I REALLY appreciate your input:).


farss wrote on 10/15/2014, 3:00 PM
It's annoying, the shot even without it is annoying, the camera is too low.
Eyeline is important, if you're going to break it there has to be a reason.

Barry W. Hull wrote on 10/15/2014, 4:57 PM
Happy wife, happy life.

Good God man, get rid of it!

Just kidding, sort of.
Serena Steuart wrote on 10/15/2014, 5:39 PM
I find it distracting because every time the flare flares my eye goes to it (away from the face). So to me it is an artifice rather than artistic. In any case I'm not a great fan of lens flare and "lens whacking", but occasionally the effects do contribute to a shot.
ushere wrote on 10/15/2014, 9:48 PM
screencast appears to be really, really bad - slow loading, erratic playback, etc., so can't comment.

btw. tried in chrome, ff, and even ie. all useless.(no problem with video from other sources)
JackW wrote on 10/15/2014, 11:41 PM
I would find the flare less annoying if 1) it appeared only once, and 2) it appeared well away from your face, perhaps over in the up-left quadrant.

Duncan H wrote on 10/16/2014, 12:26 AM
+1 ushere.

Tried to view it, but Screencast crawled at one frame per 30 secs, so I bailed. Never have any similar viewing problems with Youtube or Vimeo.
farss wrote on 10/16/2014, 1:29 AM
I got it to play OK down here however what there is, is confusing. There's less then 1 second of the previous shot, a cut, the shot in question, then another cut to a different shot also less than 1 second long.

I'll sick to my original opinion that it's annoying, I actually paused it mid shot to evaluate it as playing it repeatedly was messing with my stomach :(

GeeBax wrote on 10/16/2014, 2:46 AM
+1 on Screencast, playback is appalling, you might consider posting your clips to one of the better known sites like Vimeo.
Gary James wrote on 10/16/2014, 9:57 AM
I believe the answer to your question must come from your own intentions. Was the decision to add a visual effect to the scene intended to enhance the appeal of the music or musician? Or was it simply a device to throw into the mix?

I've seen many movies where broken sunlight shining through tree leaves was intended to give a sense of disconnection or confusion to the plot. In an old episode of the 1960's TV show Combat!, they shot a scene where a badly wounded soldier, being carried through the woods on a litter would drop in and out of consciousnesses. In the moments he was awake, he'd see the broken sunlight along with being jostled as he was moved. It made the viewer feel like he was seeing daylight for the last time.
Vegas user wrote on 10/16/2014, 10:19 AM
a lens flare can definately be cool although its against normal protocol to shoot into the sun. I think its fine how you done it through the trees. I am am a sport film maker and do it a lot with a moving object. you'll see waht I mean in this link :
mdindestin wrote on 10/16/2014, 6:27 PM
Lens Flares and light leaks can be a nice touch. Here, it would work better if the sun were a little further along in the golden hour and your aperture was open wider to show some bokeh.
Doug A. wrote on 10/17/2014, 1:08 AM
I'm not an experienced film and video maker but I have fun and enjoy what I create. As for the flare messing with someone's stomach....well that just seems silly to me and almost like a comment from a person that's just grumpy altogether.

I'm an avid reader of this forum but I hardly post here for fear of being ripped apart and made to feel dumb by the "pro's".

So, my 2 cents...I don't find it annoying,,,create what you feel is artistic or just seems right to you.


Grazie wrote on 10/17/2014, 3:17 AM
Doug, as far as I'm concerned, all "opinions" are welcome by me.

Welcome aboard!


farss wrote on 10/17/2014, 4:33 AM
[I]"As for the flare messing with someone's stomach"[/I]

I never said it was. I was referring to the way the clip was presented with cuts from/to other very shot clips. Playing it all in a loop was unsettling and it would have been so lens flare or not. The core point here should be read as [I]if you're going to ask for peoples opinion of a clip, give them enough of what comes before and after to put it into a context.[/I].


Terje wrote on 10/17/2014, 5:46 AM
I really liked the flare in the motorcycle video. The flare is part of setting the mood. Flares fit some times and some times not. To me, and that is entirely personal, flares fit in the typical "sci-fi" movie looks, particularly the desolate, Mad Max, desert kind of scenes where the flare enhances the feeling of dry desert heat. For me the "typical" flare is a band of "survivors" shot from down low, high sun, sweaty brows. The "hero" wipes his forehead and the flare comes in from behind his head and for a short second overexposes parts of the frame. In that setting, to me, the flare enhances the mood that is trying to be conveyed.

I was unable to watch the clip discussed here due to the terrible quality of the service through which it was published, but to me it looked like the flare came in what looked like green and lush settings, and if that is the case, to me (again) it would not enhance the intended mood of the shot.

To me, any effect or prop or whatever, should enhance the shot and re-enforce the mood of the shot. If it doesn't add anything (even if it doesn't detract) it should not be there. No effects for the sake of the effect, ever, in my opinion (which inevitably will be at odds with other peoples opinion). Even effects that are "natural".

If the clip was posted to a service able to actually show the clip I would be able to opine more though.
Serena Steuart wrote on 10/17/2014, 6:03 AM
+1 for farss. The clip plays OK once loaded but I keep trying to check how the clip cuts into the sequence. Of course I can't see that, so taking only this clip I don't like the position of the flare and fail the shot. I would have composed tighter and paid attention to the 3rds rule. We were asked to resolve a difference of opinion about the flare and it doesn't help much to say "it's fine if you like it". In the sequence it is probably a small matter but, for all that, deleting the clip might well enhance the sequence.
ushere wrote on 10/17/2014, 6:52 AM
so, i waited, and waited, and waited, then waited a bit longer.... is screencast serious, or just another wannabe. it's still appaling...

and finally, having waited even longer, i got to see the clip....

+1 bob and serena.

no idea where it's meant to fit into the scheme of things.....

frankly, and i am prone to generalising, lens flares and most other fx generally (told you i generalise) are attempts to liven up boring material. a lot of mtv (showing my age) clips consist solely of strung together, in your face fx trying desperately to enliven what would otherwise be droll, mundane, boring music.

mind you, it's thanks to them (and the wedding crowd) we have such toys as bbc, genarts, hit films, etc.,

B.Verlik wrote on 10/17/2014, 12:30 PM
I just right clicked and downloaded it and it played fine in VLC
Byron K wrote on 10/17/2014, 2:15 PM
Imho the lens flair is OK but coming from the wrong location. It seems that the sun is in the top center where the lens flair should be?