lensflare, lenslight, lens flare, chroma ring, light effects, iphone, ipad, iphone photo, iphoneography

LensFlare and LensLight were both updated this week. No real new groundbreaking features in these releases, but it’s a good reason to talk about all of the great new features that have been added since we last talked about both classic iPhone photo apps.


Both apps add by far the most realistic lens flares, chroma rings, bokeh, and other lens “glitches” available in the App Store. Where other apps simply use static overlays, LensLight and LensFlare use the iPhone or iPad’s graphics rendering engine to create lens effect that react to the angle and placement of the light source.

The effects are completely dynamic as you move them around, much like moving a big camera lens. Each app has about 70 flares and effects, each with unique properties and all are moveable and interactive. This gives you precise control over the placement of the effects. You can either enhance a light source or add a new one. The effects react naturally to the light source and the angle of the “light,” much like organic lens effects do. This level of control yields results that are unique for each photo and very natural looking.

The most recent updates now save at full resolution on newer devices. Other additions added over the years include tools to change the scale, brightness, and aspect ratio of each effect as well as the ability to separately control the intensity of the source light and the effects. You can also mask out areas of the effect that don’t quite align with the underlying photo. Both apps let you stack, adjust, and layer effects.

lensflare, lenslight, lens flare, chroma ring, light effects, iphone, ipad, iphone photo, iphoneography

While it’s possible to create lens flares naturally in an iPhone, I’ve found it to be difficult and the results inconsistent. Often it involves shooting straight into a light source, rendering the rest of your image dark and unusable at the expense of the flare. LensFlare and LensLight easily let you add these flares artistically letting you preserve your base image.

In the past, lens flares were considered an unwanted artifact of non-image light bouncing around your optics before hitting the film or sensor. For me, lens flares are a wonderful part of lo-fi iphone photography. They convey a sense of nostalgia as well as add a bit of magic to a photo.

It’s not always possible or practical to shoot or capture lens flares, bokeh and other light effects. LensFlare and LensLight have been a part of my toolbox for years. If they’ve gotten dusty in yours, both are worth another look. Both apps restore that little bit of magic that the iPhone’s lens doesn’t capture. Their realistic lens effects can add the perfect finish to a photo.

Download LensFlare and LensLight:

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App Store link: LensLight Visual Effects – BrainFeverMedia

App Store link: LensFlare – BrainFeverMedia