How to add light leaks effects using free resources
Whether you want haze, a touch of the mystical or you’re yearning for a retro touch, light leaks will help you achieve it. The good news is, it doesn’t even have to be expensive- or cost a thing! Here’s a tip or two for free light leaks downloads.
The old school way.
Light leaks occurred in film cameras, of course, because of small leaks in the box of the camera itself. The results could be beautiful, but most often created boo-boos and errors on expensive celluloid film and were mostly unwanted. These days, we mostly create light leaks very specifically in post production in order to achieve certain effects, so doing it ‘old school’ by allowing random overexposure on the lens is less usual as it’s less predictable.
However, you can create that hazy effect from the raw shoot if that’s what you want, using only plastic bags. Leave one plain, colour one with a strong bright colour, and raggedly slice open the end opposite the ziplock. Wrap the ziplocked ends around your lens, and manipulate while shooting. Plain will give you haze, and coloured some other interesting effects. All without breaking the bank!
In post production.
There’s a host of great free light leaks out there like http://lightleaklove.com/pages/about-us. You can also create your own, for ultimate control over the finished product. There’s always the paid pack options, too, but unless you want something very specific and don’t mind paying for it, free resources are the way to go!
Depending on your program- for example, there are great light leaks for Adobe Premiere out there- you can find a ton of great resources with a single Google search. They’ll also vary considerably in how they work. Some talented folks are happy to offer up pre-sets, brush sets, radial filter constructions and gradient filter layouts for use in graphic programs. You’ll need to search for these dependant on the program you’re using. Don’t worry, there are a ton of great folk out there, and you’re almost sure to find for any platform from GIMP right through to Mac users and the iOS.
If you’re not wanting to tweak your work to that extent- say, it’s a quick project or you’re not as confident with these tools as a pro- there are alos great free light leak layers out there. Especially useful in programs like Photoshop, you can simply layer these with your base photo and get to work tinkering with opacity and more to create the effects you want.
Whatever your needs or intention, don’t reach for your credit card straight away- free light leak downloads are easily had on the internet, and will work as well- and in many cases better then- the paid for offerings.