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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old August 5th, 2014, 02:43 AM   #1
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Light Leaks / Lens Flares

Whether its done by lens whacking, or in post, what do you guys make of it?

Is it worth the time or effort? Is it a fad that will soon be unfashionable, or a very useful way to grab the attention of potential clients who see your work.

I feel that too often when I see it, it can be overdone. But if its subtle, and makes sense with the scene - then it may be worthwhile. Joe Public will instantly think it looks 'awesome'! WIthout caring or considering how it is done.

Heres an example video from a pack that I saw an add for...

Lens FX Prism - Light Leaks and Lens Flare Stock Footage - RodyPolis
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Old August 5th, 2014, 03:25 AM   #2
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Re: Light Leaks / Lens Flares

I have seen some of my competitors use them in their trailers on their website, personally I find them distracting and it's easy to overuse it, it's a bit like these anamorphic flares you see in movies, but they only appear when there is a lightsource like the headlights of a car. The most known movie with lens flares is without a doubt; Star Trek: Into Darkness and there director even had to apologize for it as it was overdone. :)

If you overdo it it will look cheesy, a bit like these transition effects with hearts and balloons that you find back in those cheap consumer editing software.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 03:54 AM   #3
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Re: Light Leaks / Lens Flares

I think if it's subtle it can be quite effective but it's more than simply overlaying some stock light leak footage - that always looks fake to me - it's about how the focus shifts as well - nice tutorial here

The art of “lens whacking”, real lights leaks and ones done in post. | Philip Bloom

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Old August 5th, 2014, 05:19 AM   #4
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Re: Light Leaks / Lens Flares

I personally don't care for them but what do I know ..the big issue is what will the bride think?? Probably good for scenes like a girls with long flowing hair running thru the woods in slomo ..then washing her hair with the shampoo the company is trying to sell..but for weddings? I don't think brides would be too impressed if it was used too much ...remember it's THEIR wedding and they are looking at content not how clever you are at putting in SFX ! I have seen a bride comment about a shallow DOF shot and ask me why the guy couldn't focus (not my demo it was a competitor) and I got the booking.

I truly think we can go a bit overboard trying to make our shots even more cinematic! I shoot the couple in a garden/park on stedicam and do roundie roundies too and I will quite often chose a spot where I know I will get a sunflare into the lens so a moment ...but that's my limit.

A good motto is everything in moderation

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Old August 5th, 2014, 06:09 AM   #5
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Re: Light Leaks / Lens Flares

All depends on the event and the scene it's being used in.

Same principle applies with shallow depth of field shots.

It's all hit & miss. I've seen endless amount of highlights/trailers that have scenes that work and scenes that don't but yet clients love it. As long as the client is happy and it's generating work for you ... you shouldn't really care. More than any thing, content is what counts (most of us have repeated that a billion times).

I'm personally not in business to impress colleagues. I'm in the business to keep happy clients and pay my never ending bills.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 06:11 AM   #6
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Re: Light Leaks / Lens Flares

I forgot to also mention ...

Has any one EVER to this date had a complaint about anything related to the way they've edited a film ??? Not me. Any complaint is usually to do with content. "oh you've missed this or can you add this, or remove that"
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Old August 5th, 2014, 02:53 PM   #7
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Re: Light Leaks / Lens Flares

I've never used them for a wedding before, but I'm about to.

A couple months, I learned about them, and used some in a promo video I did for a photographer. I think they defiantly look cool and when used sparingly can add some wow factor to a video.

As noted, don't want to overuse.
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Old August 5th, 2014, 07:43 PM   #8
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Re: Light Leaks / Lens Flares

its a fad which will get old soon enough! same thing was going on for selective colouring, HDR etc.
Its a bit ironic that lens manufacturers have been spending large amounts of money and resources on cutting down lens flare and here we have people adding them in again :-)
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