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I hate artificial lens flare.


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#1 John Salim

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 04:07 AM

I like the look of real lens flare every now and then, but boy do I hate the artificial flare used in everything now.

Just this minute I’ve seen a commercial break where every ad used it – then the station promo had it – THEN the programme’s intro had it too !!!!

 

John S :angry:

 

 


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#2 Zac Fettig

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 08:59 AM

Anyone who strives to be a professional does. It (usually) looks terrible. Yet JJ Abrams made it the in thing right now. It's a fad. It'll go away, much like Matrix bullet time did.


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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:01 AM

Most of JJ Abrams' flares are not fake, they are real (except for the visual efx shots, you often add them since a CGI creation is not real, so adding optical defects and flares help make them look like they were photographed with a camera.)

 

Post-added flares are like any other tool, they can be done well or done badly, and they can be used appropriately or inappropriately.

 

I'm a big fan of lens flares myself, ever since I saw "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".

 

I did this small fantasy musical number where I faded up lights that would flare the lens:

smash3.jpg


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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 11:08 AM

I quite like them, but they have to be done right. Obviously the type of flare should match any real flares that appear elsewhere in the production. Getting it to look realistic invariably means tracking them into the shot properly and referring them to a point of luminance in the scene, and grading the flare to suit. It can be done right. It often isn't.

 

P


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#5 Zac Fettig

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 11:54 AM

Sorry, you're right. The lens flare in Star Trek was done in camera. I just meant that there was no reasonable, real world excuse for it. Indoors, on the bridge of the Enterprise, and you could barely see the actors on several shots, because they were washed out by the lens flare!

 

I really liked your shot. But the lens flare makes sense. Light coming in through a window could be the cause. It makes sense. I have no problems with lens flare in outdoor shots, especially dawn or dusk where it normally occurs.

 

I have no problems with Close Encouters and lens flare. Big searchlights on a powerful alien spaceship. It helped establish it.

 

I guess I just have a problem with badly done lens flare!

 

On a side note (unrelated), Mr. Mullen, I loved your book!

 

Most of JJ Abrams' flares are not fake, they are real (except for the visual efx shots, you often add them since a CGI creation is not real, so adding optical defects and flares help make them look like they were photographed with a camera.)

 

Post-added flares are like any other tool, they can be done well or done badly, and they can be used appropriately or inappropriately.

 

I'm a big fan of lens flares myself, ever since I saw "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".

 

I did this small fantasy musical number where I faded up lights that would flare the lens:

smash3.jpg


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#6 George Ebersole

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 03:49 AM

I guess I'm showing my age, but I worked with a lot of older DPs who saw lens flare as a mistake.  They tried to avoid it because it showed amateur you were by not keeping the sun out of the lens.


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#7 KH Martin

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 07:13 PM

The whole thing is like a zoom lens -- you don't overuse it or it just looks like amateur hour. DIE HARD really pushes the limit for me in terms of lens flare use, but they trot them out at just the right times, when the vault opens, when the tank/rv shows up, a few other instances -- but Abrams to me comes off like a 7 year old with a zoom lens in his MIS-use of the flares. 

 

Actually the way he uses flares is for me the exact equivalent to what we saw in the 70s when you were supposed to be in the realm of aliens on THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN ... time to run out the diffusion filter to make things look otherworldly ... instead it just looks like you're trying to cover up the fact there isn't anything special on screen. The fact Seth Rogen loves them and jumped on the flare bandwagon disappoints me, but not nearly as much as seeing SCOTT PILGRIM, where every time they went into some kind of heightened reality, they switched to 2.35 to get lens flares ... I think Edgar Wright is way too good of a director to have to hang on that kind of trick. 

 

I'd dislike the AbramsTreks just on the basis of the writing and other creative choices, but the flares alone would be enough to put me off it even if it wasn't TREK ... I'm just really glad I didn't see the first one in the theater, I'd've had to leave due to being driven crazy by them. It's too much like what I remember experiencing with too-dirty old 'hard' contact lenses back in the day.

 

Add to that the just plain crazy lighting in control rooms ... you'd have to be wearing shades on that bridge to be able to read a display, since there are light bulbs aimed right at you any time you turn to look at a screen. Clearly Abrams didn't want any connection to reality (like keeping the light low when you are in a CIC type situation.)


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#8 Scott Larson

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 01:52 PM

I guess I'm showing my age, but I worked with a lot of older DPs who saw lens flare as a mistake.  They tried to avoid it because it showed amateur you were by not keeping the sun out of the lens.

 

And that's the case generally in still photography. You will not hear the phrase "good flares" in a lens review.

 

The distorted bokeh of beloved expensive anamorphic lenses would also be considered cheap and harsh looking yet no one in the motion picture industry seems to notice it. 


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