Wednesday, 12 December 2012


I struggle a bit with this exercise. Sunstars feel to me to be a rather hackneyed hangover from the fashion for absurd filter effects which seemed to permeate the 80’s. I discussed this with my tutor, who rather reasonably suggested I should just treat them as another tool in the bag, so here we go. First off, a confession, I’ve used the effect deliberately before – while standing under a giant fountain in Geneva – so I obviously don’t have a principled objection to them :(
Le Jette and sunstar (i)  Underneath the Jet
The exercise requires that I take a shot into the sun at very wide and standard focal lengths at two different apertures to show the impact of both variables on the sunstars. The results are in the table below.
Sunstar (i)
f/22 14mm (equiv)
Sun Star (ii)
f/4 14mm (equiv)
Sun Star (iii)
f/22 50mm (equiv)
Sun Star (iv)
f/5 50mm (equiv)

As can be seen a smaller aperture (larger f number) produces a more defined star in both cases and the star effect is more noticeable at shorter focal lengths. I suspect the single ray on the 50mm f/5 shot may be due to a slightly dirty front element. It’s also worth noting that the effect is more noticeable in the fountain shots with the sun higher in the sky. I attribute this to the fact that the sun is more intense as a result of being higher in the sky and lacking the slight wintry haze of teh test shots. There’s not much more I can say at this stage – there are rare cases when I might deliberately use this effect, but in general it’ll stay in my tool-box.

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