LensFlare Studio is a first rate photo effects package for OS X

LensFlare Studio is a new Mac application with origins in iOS. Specifically, the US$0.99 LensFlare app from Brainfever Media. Typically, we see apps go the other way, from the Mac OS X platform to iOS. This time, the result is an interesting app with much more power.

LensFlare Studio ($19.99) is an impressive way to add flares and other optical effects to your images, or start with a blank slate and create interesting lighting effects. Pro applications like Photoshop have a variety of flare effects, but nothing like the effects included with LensFlare Studio.

I found I could enhance some sunset or dawn photos, or add some out-of-frame lighting to images I took in Antelope Canyon in Utah. Like any photo effect, it can be overdone, but I found the ability to control the intensity of the effects made for an enhanced image. You'll find before and after examples in the gallery below.


This app is easy to use. You chose from a variety of effects, and you have control over placement, color, rotation, artifacts and more. You can add lens flares, basic elements (like the sun or bright stars) or bokeh effects. You can add more effects in additional layers, and turn each layer on or off individually.

This app is useful for existing photos, logo creation or other graphic designs. It is easy to make these optical enhancements look as natural as you like, or as outlandish.

I have two things I'd like to see added to the app. As it is, the app doesn't remember the window size from the last launch. I'd like it to retain that so I don't have to keep expanding it. I'd also like to see some level or curves adjustments for the imported image. When you add the effect, you may well want to tone down the base image, and that's not possible now.

LensFlare Studio packs a lot of power for photographers and I enjoyed going through my library and enhancing some of my older landscape photos. Purists often run from enhancing photos with add-in elements, but I think used subtly it can really add drama to some photos.

I like the ideas behind this app and the package it has been delivered in. LensFlare Studio requires OS X 10.7 or later and a 64-bit processor.