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The History and Explosion of Lens Flare

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Lens flare was once considered a problem in filmmaking and something that should be prevented with well designed lenses and special coatings, but now it’s something that’s embraced and seemingly in every movie that hits the silver screen. How and why did this change happen?

The 4.5-minute above by Vox explores the subject of lens flares and discusses its origins and its recent history.

A still frame from J.J. Abrams' 2009 movie Star Trek.
A still frame from J.J. Abrams’ 2009 movie Star Trek.
A still frame from J.J. Abrams' 2013 movie Star Trek Into Darkness.
A still frame from J.J. Abrams’ 2013 movie Star Trek Into Darkness.

“We’ve reached peak lens flare,” writes Vox. “It’s familiar from the very shiny work of J.J. Abrams, but it goes far beyond his flare-strewn canon. Lens flare has a long history and a lot of different meanings.”

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