Ever wondered how people manage to get those nice stars around lights when taking night time shots? Ever thought, "I want that effect too, but how expensive could that filter be"? Would it surprise you that it's possible to do WITHOUT a filter? Well this little tutorial is here to help you get that effect, and not just at night, but during the day too.
I won't tell you how to achieve these setting on your camera as camera are all different, instead, dig out that manual and have a quick read, it'll tell you how much better than i could.
First, we need a subject, you can use my shot for inspiration or find your own. A sub reflection in the car chrome is another good subject too.
Second, we need to set you camera to manual mode, then set your apature to the highest value possible, on most it's around f22.
Now for the fun part, you need to adjust your so that the image won't over/under expose. Most cameras have a little "needle" in the view finder, it needs to be as close as possible to the middle. Note: If your speeds becomes too slow (anything less than 1/40 or so) which will happen at night or in the shade, you'll need a or somewhere stable to put the camera on. At night, a remote release, or just use the camera timer to prevent shake.
Now take the picture with a bright spot in the image, e.g. the sun, and have a look at the result.
ISO100 13mm f22 1/80
You may need a few goes to get it right, changing the to get the right , but practice, practice, practice, and it won't be long before you get a keeper.
Here's an interesting bit of trivia, each will produce a different starburst effect according to how many blades are inside the . The image above was taken on a tokina ultra wide angle , whereas the one below was taken with a 24-70.
ISO100 24mm f16 20secs
As can be seen on the image above, it is possible to reduce your apature, but experiment as different will give you a different effect.
Another way to get a good looking image is to put the bright spot on the edge of something, as this will also help generate a starburst, but usually only towards the edge covering the bright object.
ISO100 48mm f22 1/25
As this image shows, the starburst only shines towards the ocean because the sun is slightly covered by the cloud. You could also use the V in a tree trunk for example.
Anyway, time for me to , and you to go try. This effect can be achieved day or night, so go and play. Remember the key is a high number.