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starburst effect on the sun or lights

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  • starburst effect on the sun or lights

    How do you achieve the starburst effect on different points of light?
    I noticed it on the main page about landscapes in the photo where the sun has a starburst effect.
    I have also noticed it on several other threads where it applies to the sun or street lights or other points of light.
    None of the rest of the photograph seems to be affected by this.
    Camera:Canon 300D, Canon 30D Lenses:Canon EFS 18-55mm 3.5-5.6|Sigma 70-300mm 4-5.6 APO Macro| Bower AF Superwide .42x fisheyeOther:Sunpak PF30X external flash

  • #2
    i've seen filters that are supposed to do that, depending on the filter depends on how many points you get, not sure of a manual way of doing it...
    dSLR Geeks
    Nikon D50, Nikon 50 f1.8, Nikon 18-55, Nikon 55-200 f/4 5.6 w/VR, SB-600 Speedlight

    National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) Member

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    • #3
      You can also get it with small apertures and long exposures. Like this one:

      Te Papa (by -Nicole-)

      Taken using a 50mm lens, at f/5.6 for 13 seconds.
      Nikon D600 | D90 | Sony NEX-3
      Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 | Nikkor 70-300 | Lensbaby 2.0 | Nikkor 85 f/1.8D | Nikkor 105 f/2.8 VR | Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 | Nikkor 10.5 f/2.8 Fisheye | Sony 16 f/2.8 | Sony 18-55 | 2xSB600 | Orbis Ring Flash Adapter
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      • #4
        thats cool, good info nicole!!! thanks!
        dSLR Geeks
        Nikon D50, Nikon 50 f1.8, Nikon 18-55, Nikon 55-200 f/4 5.6 w/VR, SB-600 Speedlight

        National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) Member

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        • #5
          Thanks, Nicole! That's pretty much what I was looking for.
          Camera:Canon 300D, Canon 30D Lenses:Canon EFS 18-55mm 3.5-5.6|Sigma 70-300mm 4-5.6 APO Macro| Bower AF Superwide .42x fisheyeOther:Sunpak PF30X external flash

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          • #6
            Hey Nicole, quick question...

            First of all, I know the D50 Digital Field Guide (David D. Busch) has a number of errors in it, so I'm wondering if this is another one...

            But your post says that with small apertures and long exposures you get the star effect.

            However, while reading this morning, I came across this:

            "Rendetion: Some objects, such as points of light, in night photos or backlit photosographs appear different at particular f-stops. For example, a streetlight, the setting sun, or other strong light source might take on a pointed star appearance at f/22, but is rendered as a normal globe of light at f/8. If you're aware of this, you can avoid surprises and use the effect creataively when you want."

            Can you or anyone else shed some light on this? I haven't tried it for myself yet, will probably go out and play around with it for a minute tonight, but just wondering ya'lls input...

            Thanks!
            dSLR Geeks
            Nikon D50, Nikon 50 f1.8, Nikon 18-55, Nikon 55-200 f/4 5.6 w/VR, SB-600 Speedlight

            National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) Member

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            • #7


              You can also add them in photoshop.

              1. Create a new Layer fill it with black
              2. Render > Diffrence Clouds
              3. Filters > Blur > Radial
              a. Select the radio button that does not do the radial blur in a circle but in straight lines I forget what it's called.
              4.Move the point where you want the effect to take place
              5. Set intentsity to 80 - 90
              6. Set layer mode to lighten (try out other modes soft light works well too)
              7. Mask off the effect.

              Whoops sorry thought u said sun ray effect. You can add those in photoshop as well with a gradient select the one next to the radial.
              Last edited by Murtasma; 05-24-2007, 04:25 PM.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by higabyte View Post

                "Rendetion: Some objects, such as points of light, in night photos or backlit photosographs appear different at particular f-stops. For example, a streetlight, the setting sun, or other strong light source might take on a pointed star appearance at f/22, but is rendered as a normal globe of light at f/8. If you're aware of this, you can avoid surprises and use the effect creataively when you want."

                Can you or anyone else shed some light on this? I haven't tried it for myself yet, will probably go out and play around with it for a minute tonight, but just wondering ya'lls input...

                Thanks!
                When I said small apertures, I did mean apertures like f/22 (as the example says). Apertures go the counter-intuitive way that larger numbers are smaller apertures and vice versa. Hope that makes sense. Just as a side note, the 50mm lens is known for it's ability to cause the starburst effect Hope that helps. Sorry for not seeing this question earlier.
                Nikon D600 | D90 | Sony NEX-3
                Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 | Nikkor 70-300 | Lensbaby 2.0 | Nikkor 85 f/1.8D | Nikkor 105 f/2.8 VR | Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 | Nikkor 10.5 f/2.8 Fisheye | Sony 16 f/2.8 | Sony 18-55 | 2xSB600 | Orbis Ring Flash Adapter
                My Flickr

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                • #9
                  nicole, are you able to undelete deleted messages? I'm not sure if he has that option turned on where if a member deletes it, it just deletes it visibly but doesnt delete from the database? I apologized and then deleted it and was going to write something else, but decided that one was best suited...

                  anyways, here is a picture I took today playing around with this...it's my first successful attempt and is something I want to keep playing around with to try and get a lot better at... Thanks for the insight on this Nicole!

                  I did some post processing to this and although not a masterpiece, I am quite pleased with it... i like the purple solarflare in the middle that makes it look like a cross

                  dSLR Geeks
                  Nikon D50, Nikon 50 f1.8, Nikon 18-55, Nikon 55-200 f/4 5.6 w/VR, SB-600 Speedlight

                  National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) Member

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                  • #10
                    oh and the shooting info:

                    I was laying on the ground, on my back, looking up underneath a palm tree.

                    This was with the Nikon D50.
                    Apterture - f/14
                    Shutter - 1/60
                    ISO - 200
                    Focal Length - 42mm
                    Lens - 18-55mm
                    dSLR Geeks
                    Nikon D50, Nikon 50 f1.8, Nikon 18-55, Nikon 55-200 f/4 5.6 w/VR, SB-600 Speedlight

                    National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP) Member

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                    • #11
                      I've also been attempting to figure out the starburst situation, I was out today taking shots into the sun to try and figure it out. I already knew that a small aperature and long exposure would help achieve the effect, but what I discovered today is that it will not work when the sun is shining out in the open. When you examine the scene, walk back and fourth and place trees between you and the sun, once it begins to sparkle, look through your lens. You should be able to see a slight formation of a sunburst. I then set my aperture to F/22, but my shutter speed was still quite fast. This resulted in a perfect sunburst! I practiced the technique a few more times in different situations and it seemed to work every time.

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