Thursday, April 18, 2013

FSO; creating starbursts

creating starbursts

I discovered the magic of the starburst effect when I attended the very first round of Lynne Rigby’s workshopShooting 201: Beyond the Basics. It was one of the many “aha” moments I had during this class, and being lucky to live in a very sunny part of the world, I have had many opportunities to play with it ever since.
how to capture a starburst in your photo by Lisa Tichane

How does it work?

The starburst effect is created by light diffraction. Even if you’re not a physicist, you can understand the mechanics behind it: when light meets an obstacle (in photography: the edges of the hole created by the aperture of your lens) the light slightly bends around that obstacle.  The aperture of your lens is controlled by several blades, which create a circular opening. This opening is not perfectly round: the slight angles between the blades funnel the light, creating the star shape of the diffraction.
Here is a typical example – a random view of my city’s bay on a bright autumn afternoon:
photographing starbursts tutorial by Lisa Tichane
If you are wanting to create a starburst, the first thing you need is to find the right angle to include the sun or any other strong light source in your frame. Not just a ray of sun, but the sun itself (or at least part of it, we will see later that it’s also interesting to partially block the light in order to get an even more striking effect). Which means that it won’t work on an overcast day, except if you can catch the sun when it’s peeking out of the clouds.
Another important thing to understand when you are looking for a starburst effect, is that the smaller your aperture, the more defined the star shape, as in the example above (f22).
Let’s make it clear with some more visual examples. My previous image and all of the 6 images below were taken within a few minutes, playing with different apertures and adjusting my settings accordingly to keep the same exposure (no editing here, my point was to show how it looks SOOC).


Joe Todd said...

Really good post..Thanks

Cheryl said...

Nicely done, Ann. That first one is magical.

Ruth Kelly said...

Thanks for the tips; mine did not turn out as well.

Chef E said...

I am loving everyones shots! You added the tips, maybe I should go back and add them. The cloud shot looks like a headress on a sun god!

Unknown said...

Great job Ann. I am going to need some sunny days here to get shots like that.

Pauline said...

Well done, Ann. Tricky, wasn't it?

Suburban Girl said...

Nice job!

Jama said...

You did a good job Ann! Love that cloud formation.