How To Create Light Leaks

When it comes to cinematography, cameramen are always trying to “up their game”. With the accessibility of DSLR, a cinematic short film or wedding film is considered the norm. Soft skin tones and a shallow depth of field is considered a must when it comes to cinematography.Cameramen and cinematographers are looking for new ways to stand out from the crowd and make their work noticeable. One of the cool techniques that has recently been on the rise is the art of detaching your lens from the camera while shooting. Yes, this sounds a bit like a dangerous stunt but it’s really quite simple (and effective). The idea is that you let a bit of light sneak into the chamber, these Light leakS cause the image to become over-exposed.

These techniques are a great way to stylize your work. Each time you use these tricks you’ll get a different result, that’s the beauty of this. See below for instructions:

Light LeakS

Creating lens flares and light leaks by hand

So, how do you achieve these effects?

(Warning, this is a really good way to get dust into the chamber of your camera)

1. Grab a decent lens, I’d start with a 50mm prime.

2. While holding camera body with your right hand, grab the lens with your left and slowly start to create a small gap on the side of the lens mount.

3. Watch your live preview viewfinder to see the results. You results may vary depending on how much light you allow in and where you do it – for example, outside at noon will be different to outside at sunset and both will be different when inside a house.

See for examples of pre-made effects that can be applied during post production

Once you’ve mastered your technique you can start to experiment with different colours and lenses. You can wrap diffusion and other gels around the gap you create to get a softer look and even other colours. Your effects will be different with ever lens your use, old lenses yield great results as well.

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