Lens Flare Supercut

A lens flare is something that happens all the time in photography and filmmaking, simply because of how light travels through and reflects inside of a lens. But any good photographer or cinematographer knows how to use it effectively so it’s not just an accident. After all, lens flares can be avoided, but in films such as Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, There Will Be Blood, Looper, Gravity, The Wolf of Wall Street, Guardians of the Galaxy and more, they make some shots look fantastic.

A new lens flare supercut runs through dozens of movies featuring the side effect of bright light shining into the lens. Some are better than others, but it just goes to show you how abundant they are. And before anyone tries to make a joke: No, this isn’t just footage from J.J. Abrams movies.

Here’s the lens flare supercut from Jacob T. Swinney:

Though J.J. Abrams certainly became known for his rampant use of lens flares, he’s toned it down just a little bit since going a little overboard with the 2009 reboot of Star Trek, which contained no less than 721 lens flares, and Star Trek Into Darkness, which had even more with 826. He’s even apologized for overusing it. Though there is quite a big lens flare in the final trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Anyway, this supercut shows just how effective lens flares can be in adding some visual style to a shot. There’s something about it that’s just pleasing to the eye, which is fascinating since whenever light intensely shines in my face any other time, I’m not a fan. But when it comes to bright light in cinema creating lens flares, that’s just fine. If you want a list of all the movies used in the supercut, just head to the Vimeo page over here.

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