Candle reflection why? How do I avoid?

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by nettiebay lodge, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. Took this photo of my sons birthday party noticed what appears to be candle reflection on his forehead.
    I am assuming this is some kind of reflection caused by my lense?
    How do I avoid this in the future?
  2. Do you have a filter on the lens? If so, is it a decent, multi-coated filter? Without multicoating, additional layers of glass (like a filter) provide another surface off of which to bounce those direct light sources. If you DO have a filter, consider removing it for shots like this. If you DON'T have a filter, consider putting a quality (Hoya, B+W, etc) multicoated filter on, in the interests of making up for what seems like a flare-vulnerable lens that may lack a good coating. You don't mention what equipment was in use here - knowing that might help to provide some more specific advice.
  3. Some information in this thread .
  4. I did shoot this with a Hoya UV filter on my lense.
    I think I may have found my problem?
  5. "If you DON'T have a filter, consider putting a quality (Hoya, B+W, etc) multicoated filter on, in the interests of making up for what seems like a flare-vulnerable lens that may lack a good coating."​
    Think about that one for a minute Matt. :)
    If light is bouncing around inside a lens and causing ghosts/flare because of poor coatings, or bouncing off the front element and reflecting onto the subject, putting a multicoated filter in front of said lens (even one with 100.0% perfect light transmission in both directions) is not going to "make up" for this. At best it will do nothing, at worst it will only add to the problem.
    David, as Matt noted, if you have a filter on your lens, then remove it for shots like this with point light sources in the frame. But some lenses, especially zooms with many element groups, may be prone to flare/ghosting even without a filter attached.
  6. The chip may not be the only problem. Any flat surface (such a filter) can cause flare or ghosting in situations like the above photo. But the chip, albeit at the edge of the light path, certainly would not help matters.
    Then again, maybe your son just had a glossy forehead (perspiration from all the excitement?) and some talc powder is the solution. ;-) :)
  7. Oh yes here are the details of the equipment/pic
    Canon XTi
    Canon EFS 18-55
    f/5.6 1/25 ISO400 @ 55mm
  8. The small flaw in the filter is not likely the problem because it would not produce such "good" reflections. The filter itself is the likely problem.
    Just another good example of times when it is important to NOT have filters on lenses.
  9. Just another good example of times when it is important to NOT have filters on lenses.

    Or at least, when it's important to have a filter with good multicoating. I shoot in situations like that all the time, and never experience those artifacts. But then, I've got spendy filters mounted, and the good multicoating seems to really take care of things. In a situation like the one pictured (with the camera down range of a kid about to blow hot wax directly at the camera!) I filter can actually be a really good idea! Just use a good one.
  10. Thanks! I am shopping for a multicoated filter ASAP.
  11. That appears to be ghosting flare, not reflections from the child's head. Ghosting flare can and will occur without filters. It's impossible to completely eliminate but can be controlled to some extent.
    You can try removing the filter but that won't guarantee you'll never see ghosting flare. Typically this type of flare occurs near the edges and corners opposite the source of light that produces the flare. It's usually more a problem with wide angle lenses or zooms used at the wide focal length, but not always.
    You can experiment with this easily. Set up some candles or small point light sources (tiny light bulbs for a candlelit effect, holiday lights, etc.) in a darkened room. The room doesn't need to be completely dark, but dark enough for the ghosting flare to be visible against the darker background. Photograph the candles or lights with the camera and lens aimed dead-center onto the lights. Now begin to gradually tilt or tip the lens away from center, taking a photograph with each tiny, incremental change in angle. Repeat until the light source is along one edge or corner of the frame and finally out of the frame.
    When you examine the photos look for what happens to the flare. It will be very apparent in some photos and barely noticeable in others. As the lens is tilted or tipped at an angle the flare marks will begin to shift toward the opposite edge or corner from the light source.
    Once you're familiar with how your lens behaves in these tricky situations you can minimize the problem by making small adjustments in your position relative to the subject and light sources.
  12. Great advice Lex.
    I will do some testing with the new filter (hoya super HMC UV(o) I just purchased.
    My Daughters b-day is in a couple of weeks so I have some time to get this figured out. Of course going on 12 she may not want candles.
  13. mistake. sorry.
  14. Here's a clear example of ghosting flare, much more obvious than what you'll see in most examples. Many lenses are remarkably well corrected to minimize this type of flare, even the lower priced lenses sold with most entry level dSLRs.
    This is from a 35-70/2.8D AF Nikkor wide open (f/2.8) at 70mm. No filter, just an example of the type of flare that can occur in extreme lighting. Surprisingly, this was the only photo out of more than 100 taken at this scene (industrial fire) that showed this type of ghosting flare. The only other time I've seen flare from this lens was at a nearly identical scene, a residential fire in misting rain two or three winters back. Even then only a handful of photos out of more than 300 showed any noticeable ghosting flare. Again, no filter was used.
    I've seldom noticed much difference between using filters or leaving 'em off. Usually if a lens is going to produce ghosting flare it'll do so with or without a filter. I prefer multi-coated filters but, frankly, haven't seen many instances when it really matter, even when shooting with the low angle sun or other bright light source in the frame. Veiling flare is another matter - a good multi-coated filter will perform better than a simpler filter. But since I tend to use protective filters mostly to protect the lens in difficult situations, including PJ stuff, I'd rather risk a little flare than a damaged lens. For situations where lens damage is unlikely - scenics, architecture, landscapes, etc. - I just remove the filters.
  15. Hey David, in hind sight, you probably could have shot him @f8.0 1/30 (to darken background just a tad more) ISO 800 and used a CTO gelled fill flash set real close and on low power. Give him just enough light to look like real candle light. The extra aperture and flash might have helped with the flare. The flash would also help with the extra noise. Oh well, maybe next time.

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