A surprising way to get beautiful sunflare in your photos

  • I have seen amazing images of people shooting through zip-lock bags, metal pipes and even crystal bracelets. With this in mind, I decided I should try shooting though the dryer sheet.

As we all must do more often than we would like, I was folding laundry the other day and I noticed how cool the texture of the used dryer sheet was.

I have seen amazing images of people shooting through zip-lock bags, metal pipes and even crystal bracelets.

With this in mind, I decided I should try shooting through the dryer sheet.

This particular dryer sheet had been through the dryer twice as I was forgetful and didn’t bother to put a new one in. I pulled it apart a bit so there would be a hole in the middle that I could focus through.

I then attached the dryer sheet to my lens with a thick elastic band being careful to keep the hole in the middle. I used my center focal point when shooting so that I would definitely be able to get focus.

I have seen amazing images of people shooting through zip-lock bags, metal pipes and even crystal bracelets. With this in mind, I decided I should try shooting though the dryer sheet.
I have seen amazing images of people shooting through zip-lock bags, metal pipes and even crystal bracelets. With this in mind, I decided I should try shooting though the dryer sheet.

I was expecting the addition of the dryer sheet to add a neat texture to the image but was completely surprised at what it did to the light coming into the camera when I pointed the lens directly at the sun.

I placed my girls on the chair you can see in the photos below and took pictures of them at sunset. My settings were: ISO 320, f/3.2, 1/250.

Here’s a pullback comparison of the flare I achieved without the dryer sheet and then with.

I have seen amazing images of people shooting through zip-lock bags, metal pipes and even crystal bracelets. With this in mind, I decided I should try shooting though the dryer sheet.
without
I have seen amazing images of people shooting through zip-lock bags, metal pipes and even crystal bracelets. With this in mind, I decided I should try shooting though the dryer sheet.
with

I was amazed at the way the light seemed to spread across the piece of dryer sheet, creating a really neat effect.

I have seen amazing images of people shooting through zip-lock bags, metal pipes and even crystal bracelets. With this in mind, I decided I should try shooting though the dryer sheet.

I was concerned that this may have been a lucky shot so I tried using my dryer sheet flare techniques in some other situations.

When you use the dryer sheet without the sun directly hitting the lens you get a much more subtle effect. As you can see here, my daughter is blocking the light with her body and the dryer sheet provides a soft, dreamy effect to the image.

I have seen amazing images of people shooting through zip-lock bags, metal pipes and even crystal bracelets. With this in mind, I decided I should try shooting though the dryer sheet.

Happily, I was able to recreate the flare effect on numerous occasions with different pieces of dryer sheet (always used twice because that makes it much easier to pull apart without it tearing).

Keep in mind, there is a bit of luck involved, as you don’t have a lot of control over where the flare ends up. However, this is one of my favorite parts about my dryer sheet experiment as it forced me to let go of control and embrace the surprise!

I have seen amazing images of people shooting through zip-lock bags, metal pipes and even crystal bracelets. With this in mind, I decided I should try shooting though the dryer sheet.

I hope you will give this fun technique a try! It’s a really easy way to add a little creativity to your photography.

About the Author:

Karlee is a Canadian hobbyist photographer residing in California with her Australian husband, two daughters and labradoodle. Karlee loves to document her everyday as a stay-at-home mother with her Nikon D750 by finding beauty in the simple moments. When not taking photos, Karlee loves cold drinks, an afternoon nap and that the California weather means she can wear sandals all year long.

7 Comments

  1. Lori Feb 26 2018 at 9:24 am - Reply

    WOW! Your results are amazing. I can’t wait to give this a try. Thank you for sharing the directions and supporting images. Very inspiring!

  2. Laura Feb 26 2018 at 10:11 am - Reply

    I don’t use dryer sheets but I might have too just to try this out.

  3. Jen Feb 26 2018 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    I love this effect – such a clever idea!

  4. Lisa Benemelis Feb 26 2018 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    I loved this, Karlee! I am going to have to try this. Thank you!

  5. Kate Feb 27 2018 at 8:50 am - Reply

    WOW! I have to try this, thanks for sharing!

  6. Joyce Feb 28 2018 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    This is amazing! What a beautiful effect and thanks for sharing.

  7. Lisa Fitts Mar 09 2018 at 3:26 am - Reply

    This is so creative and the I love the outcome!

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