Starburst Effect in Photography – Where does it fit in?

Starburst Effect in Photography can completely change the scene and add another element to the photograph that did not exist prior to the Photographer carrying out their work. For instance, it can add a dreamy peaceful twinkle to the light to a once moody scene.

Starburst Effect in Photography will add a completely new dimension to your photographs.

When shooting into a source of light you may notice that some of your images have a unique quality to the light within. This is known as Starburst Effect in Photography. Put simply, this happens when your aperture size is small or very small size (High f/ number).

This effect obviously is taking place when taking pictures at night so it’s quite popular in night photography and it really beautifies the image.

Night Photography Starburst effect

Night Photography Starburst Effect – Westminster Bridge Night Scene

As you can see from the above picture, the detail goes as far as the camera can pick up and as previously mentioned, the Starburst Effect adds a completely new dimension to the picture adding to life-like look and feel.

So what about the Lens Aperture?

So, as previously mentioned we would advise that you set your Lens at the smallest aperture  (or at least f/18) to archive the Starburst Effect.

Starburst effect f/18

Starburst Effect – Elephant and Castle Tower Night Scene

If the Aperture is wider you will not get the same effect but your light sources will glow, see image below.

Night photography f/2.8

Night Photography Scene – London

The only way when you can achieve this effect during the day is taking pictures against the sun or a flashgun / speedlite (see an example below with both sources of light). Also, now you will realise how powerful our portable flashguns are!


Starburst Effect in photography – sun and flashgun


Night Starburst Effect

In order to achieve the Starburst Effect during your exposures at night you have to consider using a tripod as your camera will have to compensate in order to achieve correct exposure so your shutter speed will be extended considerably.

What do you think of this? Is it something that you have tried?

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