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How to Remove Lens Flare in Photoshop

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Sometimes a lens flare works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Whenever an unwanted lens flare appears in your photo, you can try to remove it.

In this article, I’ll show you how to get rid of a lens flare in Photoshop.

How to Avoid Lens Flare In-Camera

If you don’t want a lens flare in your photo, try to avoid on location. Some lens flares are easy to remove in Photoshop but sometimes it’s almost impossible to get rid of them.

There are a few ways you can avoid harsh lens flares when shooting. First of all, use a lens hood. It’s designed to block light that causes lens flares. Even if you don’t think you need it, it’s better to use one.

Photo of a lighthouse on a coast with lens flare

If you don’t have a lens hood, make sure to be aware of the position of the sun. You can try to use your hand as a lens hood and block the light that causes lens flares.

The design of the lens itself is also important. Cheap lenses tend to cause lens flares more often. The design and special coatings of more expensive lenses prevent bad light from coming in.

How to Remove Lens Flare With Photoshop

If a lens flare still appeared after all the precautions, you can try to remove it with Photoshop. Photoshop has many tools available and more than one is able to remove lens flares.

The more detailed the area covered by the flare is, the more difficult it is to remove it.

Removing Lens Flare With the Clone Stamp

Let’s try to remove the lens flare in this image with the clone stamp first.

Step 1: Select the Clone Stamp Tool

Select the Clone Stamp tool in the toolbar on the right. You can also use the shortcut “S”.

Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop clone stamp tool

Set the size so it covers most of the lens flare. Also, set the hardness to 0%.

Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop clone stamp tool

Step 2: Select a Clone Source

Hold the Option-key (Alt-key for Windows) and click somewhere close to the lens flare. Photoshop will use these pixels to cover the lens flare. Make sure to select an area that looks like what’s covered by the flare.

Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop clone stamp tool

Step 3: Paint Over the Flare

Now, paint over the flare until it’s gone. For the best result, you should use multiple clone sources. Select different areas around the lens flare.

Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop clone stamp tool

Removing Lens Flare in Photoshop With Content-Aware

Another easy way to remove a lens flare in Photoshop is with Content-Aware.

Step 1: Select the Patch Tool

Select the Patch tool. You can also use shortcut “J”.

Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop patch tool

In the top menu, set it to “Content-Aware”.

Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop

Step 2: Select the Lens Flare

Draw a selection around the lens fare. Leave a little bit of space between the edges of the lens flare and the selection.

Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop

Step 3: Drag to Remove

Now drag the selection to an area that looks like what’s covered by the flare. The selection will change and once you let go, Photoshop will add pixels to make the edges as smooth as possible.

Screenshot of Adobe Photoshop

If the result doesn’t look natural. Try again dragging the selection to another area close to the lens flare.

You can also adjust the “Structure” settings in the top menu. Usually, it’s a matter of trial and error.

Conclusion

Always try to avoid lens flares when taking a photo. It’s possible to remove a lens flare in Photoshop but depending on the photo, it can be really difficult. Always try to take the best possible photo before you start editing.

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