🌟 Exclusive 2024 Prime Day Deals! 🌟

Unlock unbeatable offers today. Shop here: https://amzn.to/3LqnCuJ 🎁

purple lens flare needs to be gone now!


TPF Noob!
Jul 11, 2013
Reaction score
salt lake city, utah
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
$_DSC2810 copy 2.jpgI need this photo edited is there a better way to take away the purple lens flare other than the clone tool or healing brush tool? I'm not sure what to do at this point because I don't want to spend hours on this. I need this done now to get back to the customer? Any help would be appreciated! thank you!
Yes, the better way is called using a lens hood. And/or not shooting almost directly into the sun, which appears to be only a few degrees above the top of your frame. They would have been much happier with a group shot that has a boring sky behind it (if you pivoted the whole shot 180 degrees around, or 90 degrees, or anywhere else) than they will be with a group shot with a cute trellis and giant spikes of magenta everywhere.

I don't know what else to tell you. This photo is pretty much completely trashed by that flare, and there is about 0% chance of it being saved.

1) Always use a lens hood outdoors on every lens unless you WANT flares
2) Don't shoot anywhere near the sun being close to the frame unless you again want flares or otherwise really know what you're doing and it is very intentional.
3) Check your images as you're taking them, at least ones like this that require a lot of effort to get everybody set up. Checking quick candids and rapid fires will slow you down too much potentially, but for these, you want to make sure you got it before people disperse. Checking for obvious flares, obvious missed focus, and the histogram.
4) Considering that you have a Nikon D300S, and you shot this at exactly 18mm, and max aperture is 3.6, I'm guessing you were using an 18-200 kit lens at its widest setting. Kit lenses aren't known for fantastic performance at their extremes, and wide angles aren't known for fantastic flare prevention in general. This is a recipe for bad flares in general waiting to happen right in the lens settings themselves. You may want to upgrade your wide angle options if this is a sort of shot you want to do, in addition to the things above. Also kit lenses often don't come with hoods. See #1.
5) It's been over a month since you did the shoot. Clients might be happier with faster turnaround than that, plus now doesn't seem like the best time to be beginning to tackle an issue like this one in particular.

To be quite honest, I suggest you hold back on the wedding photography for the moment. The shot itself isn't the end of the world, and we all make mistakes sometimes. If that were all there was to it, I would try not to assume. But the fact that you are seriously asking if this can be saved in photoshop is pretty clear evidence that you almost certainly do not have the experience levels to be a smooth and efficient wedding photographer. And the 10x slow zoom lens choice and lighting in that photo do not do much in the way of altering that impression.

This particular niche is not kind on people who do not have a ton of portraiture experience yet. Gaining more experience with studio shots (for in depth lighting experience) and also one on one or small group on location things (engagement photos, for example) before trying weddings again may be a good idea. Much lower pressure, and if you get a whole batch of photos with flares, for example, you could just refund your client without losing TOO much face, rather than irreversibly missing a photo opportunity in a once in a lifetime event, which is probably much worse for your reputation and word of mouth.
Last edited:
Ouch! That is a terrible,terrible flare. THe kind that shows up when looking through the viewfinder...it's a really baaaaad one...instead of trying to eliminate it, have you considered exaggerating it, and making it REALLY flarey??? Kind of a fashion-y, flare-y, high-key look??? I dunno...it's going to be tricky to remove I think.

Lens hood, yes, that would have prevented this.
Im no photoshop wizard but in a few seconds you can tone it down making it blend in better with the other rays.. Probably not what your looking for but its all i could think of.

$_DSC2810 copy 2a.jpg
AFAIK there's no quick fix for a flare like that, it's spread out over a large, detailed area of the photo that cannot be sacrificed as you can do with quick cloning/blending/smoothing, you could spend hours working on it but I doubt it'll come right, I fear what you've got there is a dud.
Ouch is right, that's a massive Atomic Bomb Lens flare!

My photoshop skills are non existent, so I'm not sure what can be done to fix this photo but if there is a way, it's not going to be quick and easy. I'm just amazed this was missed, I've noticed smaller lens flares through the view finder? I wish you lots of luck!

In the future, I strongly suggest, checking your shots...Camera LCD screens are your friend...that and Lens Hoods. I use Lens Hoods night or day to help deal with lens flare from the sun and street lights.
I think the only way to get rid of it is to spend hours with an editing program.
$_DSC2810 copy 2.jpg

You'll need an airbrush artist to re-construct Dad's face; the flare pretty well obliterated it.
I would pay to have it done.
If this is the only shot you have of the group, then you screwed up by not taking more.

Not using a lens hood? Lesson learned (hopefully)!

Either pay a professional retoucher to fix it (I am sure that will cost more than you charged!).. or try and do a reshoot (good luck with that!)
Because the flare is a gradient and covers needed 'source' pixels (the mans face) the only edit solution is slow and careful use of the Clone and Magic Healing tools.

At that angle a lens hood probably would not have helped all that much, but as Derrel pointed out a flare like that was likely visible in the camera's viewfinder or on a rear LCD display before the shutter was released.

Holding your hand above and slightly in front of the lens would have greatly reduced or even eliminated the flare.

This is where experience and always being aware of how close to the image frame/lens long axis light sources are help a photographer anticipate possible lens flare and other lighting issues.

I also wondered if you have a 'protection' UV/clear filter on your lens?

The recommendation of having the subjects move 180 degrees seems to ignore that the subjects would then be squinting because the sun would be in their face, and the shadow cast by the photographer may also be in the shot.

It does not look like you used flash to balance the exposure of the subjects with the bright background.
Two additional benefit to using flash with backlit subjects are: 1. Ambient light exposure can be controlled separately from the flash exposure. 2. The added exposure from the flash helps separate the subjects from the background (pop).
The recommendation of having the subjects move 180 degrees seems to ignore that the subjects would then be squinting because the sun would be in their face, and the shadow cast by the photographer may also be in the shot.
True, but 90 + fill flash would work

At that angle a lens hood probably would not have helped all that much
I see no reason why it wouldn't. An 18-200 lens would have a pretty stubby hood to accommodate the 18mm end, BUT he was shooting AT 18mm in this photo, so it would have been just as good of coverage as a dedicated lens hood on an imaginary 18mm prime lens.

If you rely on your tiny 10x zoom range 18-200 lens hood to shield you from flare at 135mm, then you aren't going to accomplish much protection, but at 18mm, it should be designed to have full coverage. And if you can find a nice quality, fabric-flocked lens hood, it should pretty much entirely eliminate the flare. Certainly enough to not destroy facial data.
Either pay a professional retoucher to fix it (I am sure that will cost more than you charged!)


You're most likely going to loose money but I would rather loose money paying a professional to fix the photo than try and push a bad photo. This one photo could wreck a small operation just starting out quicker than you can blink an eye lid.
When I have to shoot in conditions like this, if I have a shooting partner, I will ask him or her to "throw a shadow on my front element", usually by holding my baseball cap above, and in front, of the lens, so that a shadow literally falls ON THE FRONT element of the lens. It's often called "flagging" or flagging off the lens", and it works well. Better than any normal lens hood. A small black card works too. ANYTHING that can literally throw a shadow on the lens and kill ALL the sun rays is what you want.

There *is* an accessory that's useful too: it's normally expensive, and it's called a compendium lens shade. It has bellows material, and a rack and pinion drive,and has two guide rails. It can be racked out or back, and totally envelops most of the lens, and provides superb flare control. I suppose there are probably some low-priced ones for sale from some of the China-based mfrs./vendor/resellers/ It looks a lot like a matte box, and is most commonly seen on big commercial shoots, and video/cinema production cameras, where flare needs to be controlled most of the time.

If one is using an FX prime lens on a DX-format camera, often times a smaller-diameter and/or longer-than-specified lens hood can be used to get good flare control, but be careful when using the same hood and lens combo on a Full-frame body--the vignetting can be HUGE. But on the reduced-circle DX, a really long, narrow lens shade can be used to kill pretty severe right-into-the-sun flare.

Most reactions

New Topics