Light leaks are abstract flares that blend with your shots to add a nostalgic look to your video. Learn how to use it in Premiere Pro in this tutorial.

Light leaks or sun flares give a nostalgic or summer look to your videos. These are stock video clips that are usually created by shining a flash light into your lens. You can either create them yourself or download them from the internet. There’re many resources that give them out for free or you can also find bigger, more premium collections which you can purchase. In the tutorial we are using a collection from Rocketstock. They have a free collection of 4K light leaks that can be downloaded here:

After you’ve downloaded your light leaks, you can import them inside Premiere Pro and start using them. It’s actually very easy, you just add them on top of you video and chose a blending mode from the opacity property. Usually you want to pick lighten, screen or add. The other blending modes are pretty extreme.

Already you’ll see the effect taking place, but there’re many ways to manipulate the light leaks to give it a custom look. For instance, we can speed it up or slow it down with the rate stretch tool. Or increase the scale of the light leak clip and re-position it. Because the light leak is so abstract and blended, we don’t have to worry too much about quality loss when doing this.

If the colors aren’t right, then use the Lumetri color tools to change the temperature, tint, exposure and more.

Using light leaks however have to be a conscious choice. Don’t over use them in your edit, but add a reason to it. Using a it as a transition is a good reason. Something else could be to add extra lens flare when filming the sun. This is what we’ll do in the last part of the tutorial video. To make it more subtle, we’ll also create a mask on the light leak. We can create stripes to reenact the anamorphic  lens look, or have it appear more subtle in the corner of your shot.