Learn Advanced Photo Editing

How To Add Lens Flare Effects To Your Photos

By Melanie Doncas | Advanced Photo Editing Photo Editor Tutorials

There’s just nothing quite like a lens flare to give your photos that beautiful, sun-drenched look. Whether you’re soaking up the warmth of summer or enjoying the bright city lights, a little bit of flare can certainly go a long way in producing gorgeous photography.

Lens flares are created when a source of light (like the sun or a street lamp) is much brighter than the rest of the scene that you’re capturing, resulting in the light being scattered or ‘flared’ within the lens system. Sometimes, however, it isn’t so simple to capture this desired effect on your own. This is where BeFunky’s super realistic-looking Lens Flare effects come into play, which use our innovative technology to help you take your photos to a whole new level.

Originally inspired by the lens flares regularly seen in movies, we’ve now recreated these (in house, from scratch!) as our own popular effects available in the Photo Editor. With your BeFunky Plus account and a little creativity, now you too can use our Lens Flare effects to do everything from evoke the drama of a sunset to add some much-needed bling to your photos. We'll show you how it's done! 

When To Use Lens Flares In Photo Editing

While you can certainly use lens flares to enhance any photo, there are some instances where they really shine (no pun intended!). These include:

Landscape Photography

Have you ever captured a stunning landscape, only to notice it lacks a certain pizzazz in-camera? Even in images taken on the most overcast of days, a lens flare can quickly add another much-needed dimension to your photo. It can mimic that stunning moment the clouds part to let the sun shine through, or even replicate how light particles bounce off the water’s surface and onto your lens.

how to add lens flare effects in BeFunky
landscape photography editing by BeFunky



You can also use our lens flare effects to draw attention to certain elements within your frame, such as the rolling green hills over to one side, or a person as they walk off into the horizon.

Sunrises and Sunsets

Our lens flare effects are particularly powerful in photos containing sunrises or sunsets, as they work to enhance the beautiful light that you’ve already captured. Lens flares also have the ability to increase the drama of the sun, making it appear as though its reflected perfectly off your lens to capture those fragments of light we all love.

Portrait Photography

When it comes to portrait photography, you’ve probably heard a million times that golden hour is the best time to shoot. But what if the sun doesn’t turn up? One of the easiest ways to achieve that sun-drenched, backlit effect is with our lens flares, meaning that there’s no need to re-capture your portraits due to a lack of sunlight.

how to add lens flare to a photo
portrait photography editing by BeFunky



Trust us, your subject will love the results!

To Add Bling

When it comes to enhancing shiny elements in your photo (think earrings, headlights, and anything else that reflects the light), then there’s a lens flare effect for that too! Our Glint lens flare is perfect for adding bling to certain elements within your frame to really make them pop. It’s great for product photography, or even to up-the-ante on that engagement ring shot.

Night Photography

Did you know that our lens flare effects are also perfect to use in photos captured at night time? All you need is a little pre-existing light in the photo to make them look realistic – whether the sun is up or down! Effects such as Nova, Performance, Iris, and Elysium compliment city lights perfectly and bring a look of motion to any photo.

lens flare effects for photography by BeFunky
night photography editing by BeFunky



They’re perfect for enhancing a busy cityscape during those darker hours.

How To Add Lens Flares To Photos

Once you’re ready to add one of our amazing Lens Flare effects to your photo, head to Befunky’s Photo Editor and upload your desired image. You’ll find 16 Lens Flare effects to choose from in the Effects section. You’ll be able to preview how each Lens Flare looks on your image just by clicking on them, helping you to choose which one works best for your photo! For this tutorial, we’ve chosen Sunny Day.

Lens Flare effects by BeFunky Photo Editor

Pro Tip: If selecting just one effect is proving to be difficult, don’t sweat it! Once you’ve added one Lens Flare, you can also apply additional Lens Flares to add a layered light effect. We recommend no more than two to keep your image looking as realistic as possible!

Once you’ve selected your chosen Lens Flare effect, it’s time to choose where it should be placed in your image. We recommend choosing a part where a light source would naturally appear. Try to look at the existing shadows or highlights in your image to determine the best place.

add lens flares to photo by BeFunky

Upon choosing your Lens Flare, you’ll notice two circular targets appear on your image. These allow you to tweak your Lens Flare effect so it perfectly suits your photo!  The larger one controls the source of light in your lens flare, and the smaller one controls the effects that radiate from the source. First, click on the large target and move it by dragging it with your mouse. One you’re happy with its placement, click on the smaller target and drag it to your desired location. You’ll notice as you move this target, your Lens Flare effect will change in regards to the target’s location, giving you an endless scope of looks to choose from. You can also use the slider on your chosen Lens Flare to either increase or decrease the intensity of your Lens Flare.

how to create lens flare in photography

The customization process doesn’t just end there, however, as you can also click on the Settings button to adjust even more elements of your Lens Flare, including advanced Intensity and Color. Sliding the scale under Intensity allows you to increase or decrease your desired effect. You can also change the effect setting from Normal to Intense to truly make your Lens Flare pop.

photo editing lens flare effects

The Color Picker is another helpful customization tool which lets you change the color of your Lens Flare. This is perfect for reflecting the cool or warm tones of your image to present a more realistic effect.

customizable lens flare effects by BeFunky

Pro Tip: You can also use the Eyedropper Tool to change the color of your Lens Flare to a hue already in your photo. When the Eyedropper tool is in use, simply hover over the color you want to replicate and click once.

Once you love the look of your Lens Flare infused image, it’s time to save it so you can use it in whichever way you wish! Clicking Save in the top menu will let you save your photo to a destination such as your computer or Dropbox, or you can even save it straight to your Facebook to share with your friends and family.

Before and After

How to enhance the sun in photo editing by BeFunky
photo editing with BeFunky Photo Editor



Thanks to our one-of-a-kind Lens Flare effects available in BeFunky’s Photo Editor, you too can transform your photos into dazzling masterpieces!

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