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on May 21, 2013 in Landscape Photography

The Star Burst

Mono Lake 6115

I had a w h o l e bunch of emails asking about star bursts from yesterday’s blog. The questions are two part, how do you create them and how do you know where to place them. The creation is pretty simple, just close your lens down all the way and shoot. Now you want clear skies and a clean front element / filter. You can increase the star burst effect by “squeezing” the sun like just letting it peek around the edge of a limp or rock. But the biggest thing is your lens, or rather its aperture. The best thing to do is simply step out of the home and shoot the sun with your lenses and look at the star burst pattern they create. I saw the star burst created by the Canon 16-35 and it’s schweet! Right now, my favorite in my bag is with the 18-35AFS

Mono Lake 5988

When it comes to placement in the frame, I have no formula to really offer you. Keep in mind that being the lightest/brightest in the frame, the mind’s eye will be stuck on the star burst big time. The rest of the elements in the frame will take a back seat to it. Also keep in mind, you’re shooting into the sun, that means everything else in the frame will be for the most part backlit, in silhouette. If that’s the case, how come these Tufas aren’t all black? Shooting with the D4 and its six stop dynamic range, I simply used the Shadow Slider in ACR 8.1 and pulled the shadows back (you can do this with most bodies these days with tons of success). The bottom photo, there were two other photographers with their tripods in the scene when I took it. This image, it’s the cloud in the top right that were important. So I took the prime frame even though the two photographers were in the frame. Once they left I took the second shot just for the parts of the Tufa they blocked. I processed both files in ACR at the same time and then layered the two frames and painted in the Tufa where the photographers stood. Now they’re gone. So the bottomline answer to the question is, just gotta thing a little and the rest is really simple!