The History Of The Lens Flare: Hollywood’s Go-To Cinematic Trick Of Light

Walk toward the light with caution.

WHO: Pretty much all of your favorite sci-fi/action directors
WHAT: The lens flare
WHY WE CARE: The lens flare was once something to avoid–a flash of unwanted light that was deemed an annoyance in filmmaking. But over the years, the lens flare has evolved into a cinematic signature for directors like Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay–even J.J. Abrams once even apologized for OD’ing on the magic of those streaks of light. How the lens flare went from a nuisance of nature to a sign of authenticity to an agent of wonder and awe is condensed in a history lesson from Vox.


About the author

KC covers entertainment and pop culture for Fast Company. Previously, KC was part of the Emmy Award-winning team at "Good Morning America" where he was the social media producer.