- Hide menu
You’ve seen it many times before, in magazines, calendars and postcards. A surreal-looking sun sinking below the horizon or sliding behind a mountain peak, streaks of light emanating from the center. Last time I checked, I didn’t think those streaks were natural, so how did the photographer do this?
You might be thinking a fancy filter is required to get this effect, and yes, there are actual star filters you can buy. You could also use Photoshop with similar results. But why bother, when all you really need to do is adjust the aperture setting on your camera.
First, a quick definition of aperture:
The aperture of a lens is the diameter of the lens opening and is usually controlled by an iris. The larger the diameter of the aperture, the more light reaches the film / image sensor.Aperture is expressed as F-stop, e.g. F2.8 or f/2.8. The smaller the F-stop number (or f/value), the larger the lens opening (aperture).
You can read more about aperture HERE
The secret to getting the star effect is to adjust your aperture to the largest F-stop possible. In the case of the backcountry skiing photo above, I shot this at F/20. The sea kayaking picture below was shot at F/16. I wouldn’t go much lower than f/16 or the star effect begins to fade. f/18 – f/22 seems to work best. (Although you will continue to get the effect above f/22, generally speaking, the quality of the image will begin to deteriorate.)
If you have a digital point & shoot camera, attaining the star effect may be a challenge as most P&S cameras don’t allow you to adjust the aperture to the necessary level.
No related posts.
Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.