Every director has his or her thing. There's the Steven Spielberg face, the freaky Stanley Kubrick glower, and, most recently, the J.J. Abrams lens flare.
Abrams has admitted its use before, during a "Star Trek" press conference in 2009: "I wanted a visual system that felt unique. I know there are certain shots where even I watch and think, 'Oh that's ridiculous, that was too many.' But I love the idea that the future was so bright it couldn't be contained in the frame." (See a supercut of all the lens flares from "Star Trek" here, if that's your thing.)
Now it seems the writer/director/producer is coming to terms with his overuse of lens flare. He hasn't promised to abandon it altogether, but at least he's admitting that he sometimes goes overboard. Speaking with CraveOnline during an event for the "Star Trek: Into Darkness" Blu-ray release, " "I know I get a lot of grief for [lens flare]. But I'll tell you, there are times when I'm working on a shot, I think, 'Oh this would be really cool... with a lens flare.' But I know it's too much, and I apologize. I'm so aware of it now. I was showing my wife an early cut of 'Star Trek Into Darkness' and there was this one scene where she was literally like, 'I just can't see what's going on. I don't understand what that is.' I was like, 'Yeah, I went too nuts on this.'" He added, "I actually had to use ILM [Industrial Light & Magic] to remove lens flare in a couple of shots, which is, I know, moronic. But I think admitting you're an addict is the first step towards recovery."