Thursday, March 31, 2011

Star Burst ~ Exploration Thursday!

"Afternoon Entrance"
(1/100 sec.@ F/10, 20mm fl, ISO 160, 18-55mm kit zoom, handheld, shade)

Thought I'd post an image from one of my most favorite locations, Dundurn Castle. But because it's Thursday, I knew it had to be something with a unique element. So I chose a new one I had yet to edit till now. However, I wanted to post this because this past year I realized I hadn't experimented much with star bursts.

The norm for clear blue skies and easier exposure for a landscape is to pop a nice filter on your lens (or later in PS) and shoot away with the sun behind or beside you... except when you want a star burst effect. Then you must shoot into the sun. Then the trick becomes 'what can I use to naturally filter the sun light'. And not too much, but something to block just enough of the actual sun so that it spills out from behind the obstacle. I've discovered it takes some practice, and usually a smaller aperture than normal. I start at an F/10 and go from there... sometimes stopped down to an F/16. The smaller the aperture, the more prominent the beams of light are as they're forced to reach through the narrow aperture to get to the sensor.

Obviously the weather conditions and time of day will effect what you get. This was late morning in early November. No haze in the sky, very bright out, and low enough for it to sit tucked behind most foliage if I got down low to the ground. The other trick is to avoid compromising your composition as you attempt to get the sun to peak through at just the right spot. I liked the POV I had approaching the arch that leads to the front of the historical property, and was determined not to sacrifice the large tree in the foreground if I could help it. It took some time and some angling and hoping the trees would stop swaying in the slight breeze. But I got it.

For more tips on star bursts check out this article.
Thanks for the ramble folks, have a good one eh!

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