Starbursts – How to create and control them in your photos

Starbursts can be a nice feature in your photos – especially in landscapes and night shots. But somehow, they seem to show up only infrequently and randomly, right? So how to you create an image that purposefully has a starburst in it to improve your composition and give your photo some additional interestingness?

In this featured video, John Greengo explains what you could almost call the science of starbursts. Now, personally, I had a few rules of thumb on how to actually make them appear in my photos, but John has a whole lot more to tell you. Check this out if you want to make better use of these little dots of light in your photos.


Example of a starburst (photo by John Greengo – screen capture from the video below)

In a Nutshell

The basic ingredients to creating starbursts are the following:

  • A high f-number (typically between f/11 and f/22)
  • Some object that blocks the sun (for example) partially.
  • Some darker object that creates a background for the starbursts to really come out in your photo.

How the aperture blades in your lens influence the starburst (diagram by John Greengo – screen capture from the video below)

The Video

[via CreativeLive YouTube channel]

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