I'm feeling generous today. I've been fiddling around with different samples of lens flares for a while, and then while making a video I found that my Tamron 28-75 lens produces some really cool colors when it catches the light just right. So I shot into the sun with a black target to create some of my own to use. Then I thought why not share with the internet! I also included a short Photoshop tutorial to show how easy it is to drop these into an image. You do need to be careful about the direction of the light, this obviously wont work for all images and all these samples start with the light in the corner, although you can always flip, scale and modify things however you want.
If you want to replicate this with your own lens its pretty simple. I sat on the floor and placed a black chair in between me and the sun, shot the back of the chair (you could use black poster board) and in my case I used live view to make it easier to see what I would get before taking the shot. Live-view is helpful to avoid burning your eyes! The sun was coming around the chair at an angle so it wasn't coming straight into the lens. That angle is what creates the effect. I used about F6, wide open settings will create circular flares, stop it down to see the outline of your aperture blades. If you want a flare that starts in the middle of the image (instead of from the corner) I imagine you could punch a hole in the poster board and let the sunlight through that. Start with a small hole - it doesn't take much sunlight to create flare. I think zoom lenses with lots of elements will work best but don't let that stop you from experimenting with prime lenses.
Files and video after the jump
Click an image to enlarge then right click save as to download.