We are back from holidays and we notice many photos with strange vertical lines, see photos below. Can someone explain this optical effect to me, please? How can I avoid it in future?

The pictures were taken with a smartphone (Motorola Moto G5 Plus).


Photos marked


That is lens flare. Notice how the artifact is always on the side of the image nearest the sun.

Flare can be avoided by not pointing the camera towards direct light sources, such as the sun. Sometimes flare can be prevented by shading the lens, such as by holding your hand over the lens to block light that would otherwise move sideways into the lens.

  • 2
    Flares get worse by having dirt on the lens, like finger smear or sunscreen or such. Cleaning your lens (carefully!) might reduce it significantly.
    – Aganju
    Aug 20 '17 at 16:52
  • A phone case with a highly reflective casing around the camera lens could probably also add lens flare.
    – Dubu
    Aug 21 '17 at 14:40

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