How to capture the perfect Sunstar. If you aren’t shooting Sunstar’s you are missing out!

ISO 125, F18, 1/400sec

I felt it would only be fitting to kickstart off my first blog with some tips on what I know and love most, photography. Ever wonder how photographers capture those crazy Sunstars in their images? As unreal as they may look, let me tell you.. they are real!

Now I’m not here to write a long-winded message because we all know you here just to make some cool Sunstar images. 

So lets do it, you need 3 things.

  1. Camera (thanks captain obvious)

  2. Sun. Believe it or not if there’s no sun.. SURPRISE there’s no Sunstar.

  3. Tripod or my favourite, a random flat surface such as a post or rock. (not necessarily but handy to have)

The Sun Star effect happens when light passes through a small aperture in your lens and gets diffracted (spread out) across the aperture blades inside your lens. The more blades your aperture has the more rays it will create. 

“If you don’t know what aperture is then this is something you can come back to in the future once you master the basics of photography.”

Hint * When talking about aperture, a higher number means a smaller the aperture.
( I know confusing right )

So basically the smaller the aperture, the more of a Sunstar you’ll get. The rule of thumb for capturing a clean looking Sunstar is to start no lower than F16. I usually start here and often go to F18 if I want the rays to be even tighter. Make sure you adjust your other settings (Shutter speed and ISO). Remembering that a higher F-stop number, the less light you are letting in so the darker your image will be.

Using these tips you could simple point and shoot at the sun and capture a basic Sunstar. For a more creative approach, try capturing the sun peaking behind a subject or something in the foreground/back ground like my image above.

My favourite time of day to shoot a Sunstar is at sunrise or sunset because I like the way it looks with golden hour. These tips will help you achieve this affect at any time of day as ling as big yellow (the sun) is out.

Now get outside and give it a shot (<- photography jokes HAHA) 

Also tag me in your Instagram stories with your Sunstar attempts. @kristamayphotography

ISO 100, F16, 1/125 sec

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