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This page is written by Snooky/Yodel as a tribute to the most incredible enhancer of movies and TV-series ever "invented" - The lens flare.

This page is intended to give you a deeper insight in how and when the phenomena called the "lens flare" occurs.

It also wants you to go see some cool movies and TV-series where the lens flare (in my humble opinion) should be placed #1 in the cast list.

Anyway, if you are allergic to lens flares, exit this page, write me a letter and tell me all about your problems, and I am sure I can explain how much more delightful your every single day in the future would be if you just would learn to absorb the positive energies eradiating from the allmighty lens flare.

Recomended movies and TV-series
Close encounters of the third kind
Huge amounts of space ships with some specially manufactured lens flare engines, lens flare position lights and lens flare cockpit illumination!

An estimation from my side whould say there are about 75000 clearly visible lens flare spots in that movie

Blade runner
I was about to fall of my chair when I saw those astonishing lens flares from the "car" engines the first time. Now I just drowl! Go see it again!

The X-files
Chris Carter's TV-series, where no optical system is too cheap! Strangely enough, camera manufacturer seems to be trying to avoid the lens flare effects, but in the X-files, even a slightly dimmed desk lamp causes mindtwistingly huge and spectacular lens flares. And you can surely imagine how it looks when the alien spacecraft hovers above the camera, projecting about 15kW of pure white light straight at it! Yes, man - this IS a migty sight!

Technical discussion
The lens flare is perhaps the most beautiful flaw ever experienced.

This "flaw" occurs when extreme amounts of light are projected right onto the lens elements of the optical system of a camera from the right angle, and the light hits some reflective part between two lens elements instead of going right through the optical system.

Usually the unwanted reflected light beams just ends up in a non reflective part of the optical system, but some just keep bouncing around, passing the lens elements at the most strange angles, thus coloring the light due to chromatic aberration in exactly the same way as when white light passes a prism.

When the camera operator adjusts the zoom or focus of the optical system, the distances between different moving parts vary, and as a result, the reflected light beams are being refracted differently through the lens elements, thus reshaping and even recoloring the resulting lens flare on our TV-screens.

Most of the demo coders today havn't got a clue about where the lens flares actually come from, except "some aberration in the lens elements". This explains why almost all lens flares in demos today have the same internal organization as one of the predefined "lens flares" in PhotoShop!

Surely you've seen one/some of those snowboard videos where the snowboarder always makes a nice jump just between the camera man and the sun, resulting in a tremendous amount of hexagonal colorful spots. You havn't seen that kind in PhotoShop, huh?

That is because the amount of spots, the color of them, the internal arrangement and their size all depends on the focal length, the focus setting, the size and intensity of the light source and the asymmetry of the optical system.

Closing words
This was about what I had planned for this time. Suggestions, comments and complaints should be sent to me immediately.

Hasta la lens flare, baby!
// Snooky/YDL

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