If you’re an old film shooter like me, You’ll probably remember them: Star Filters! When I got my first SLR in the early 70s’ (A Minolta SR7) , Star Filters were all the rage. My wife put one in my stocking that first Christmas I had my camera. It was fun. Point the camera at a light source, snap the shutter and bingo: a perfect star. I think my first shot was of our Christmas tree that year. A tree of a zillion stars. Soon though, the novelty wore off and the Star Filter was relegated to the back of the camera bag.
Along with the digital age, came a new word for starbursts: Flares. I see them quite a bit on flickr particularly in HDR Pictures. I’ve often wondered if the shooter is using a ahem….“Star Filter”. You can still buy them but its not necessary. Just shoot at your smallest f stop.
This was shot at f/22. The only problem I’ve had with this trick is controlling blown out light. One way is to cut the light reaching your camera via camera position. Using a leaf on a tree to partially block the rising sun, for example. A foggy morning helps a lot as it surely did with the above shot.
The shot below is of the sunset in what I call Twilight Field on the farm. Also shot at f/22, waiting until the Sun was just dipping below the horizon took care of blown out light.
Sure, you could screw a star filter on the lens but why bother.
See you next time on most of this same blo