The photographs that have sunlight or colored lights sparkle like the stars are really beautiful and magical. They are using starburst effect. Maybe you think there must to be skilled to capturing such photos. However, just a few simple installation steps and find a suitable spot is you can get an impressive photograph not too much editting processes.
1. How to catch sunlight photographs with starburst effect
You absolutely can use point-and-shoot cameras (also known as travel camera or compact camera) to take pictures with the light from sun or electric lights. But to get the best performance, you should use DSLR or mirrorless cameras that can change and adjust the lens aperture. You should also use a UV filter to protect the sensor camera, because the sunlight shoot requires that you point the lens directly into the sun. For the photo shoot with starburst effect of electric light, the camera fixed is important factors. So you’ll have to use a tripod or the remote shutter button to take photos.
This photographic techniques is to use a small aperture around f / 22 and a wide angle lens, such as 18 mm. With a small aperture, the blades in the lens will close only to leave a very small hole for passing light. Small aperture will make the light is diffracted or bent, making light spot became sparkle like the stars when light enters the sensor and recorded. You can visualize this process is like when you look at the lamp. When you arrowed your eyes, you will see the light rays emitted light around it.
Different lenses have different number of blades. The more the blade as it will create many twinkling light. Wider lens focal also increases glistening spot size. Wider focal length, the greater the size of the light spot.
As for the settings on the camera, you should shoot with aperture priority mode (the camera in Canon’s AV signatures, while Nikon denoted A) and set the aperture of f / 22. Should set low ISO, in the range of 100-200, because high ISO will have a lot image noise. The camera will automatically select the shutter speed. If you see a photograph are too dark or too bright, you should switch to manual adjustment mode, still installed as aperture and ISO as above, and adjust the shutter speed to be increased a little brighter picture or reduced shutter speed to get darker picture.
In case you not have a enought brightness, such shooting at night, the shutter speed can be slow. You need to use a tripod for photos without blur.
Sunlight and starlight lamp is generated from the focused spotlight rather than spread around or diffuse light source, that mean the light emitted from a single point, such as street lamps, car headlights, flash cameras…. Spread light source where light is emitted in a wider scope, such as fog lights, advertisement boards, neon. Diffuse light sources also is where the light is spread out very wide or very difficult to detect luminous points, such as the sun in the cloudy sky, light softbox studio lights, or light reflected on the large surface area such as lakes etc …
Daytime sun is not a bright spot to focus, because it is often too bright and too wide to create light rays. So the best time to photograph the sun is in the early morning or late afternoon. Shooting in the winter is also a good idea because then the sun is not too bright. To get the starburst effect at night, you need to find the appropriate bright spot. Lights, traffic signal lights and car lights are favorite bright spots to make a starburst effect photographs.
Here are some amazing photo with starburst effect.