Project Double Take #22 | Starburst at f/22


We're nearing the end of our Project and Dave and I are really starting to run out of steam and fast. I think it is safe to say that we both are lacking in motivation and feel this project has run its course. We will finish, but we are glad to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Speaking of bursts of light, this topic was a tricky one again. The object this time was to capture a starburst shape by shooting at an aperture of f/22 or greater. When you stop down the lens this tightly with a very small opening to let light through, it can create this sort of starburst look. It works with street lamps, the moon, the sun, etc. In fact, even though this was called "starburst", Dave and I actually have a "moonburst" and a "sunburst". In typical fashion we light to have opposite, but complimentary double takes to share with you. 

Dave opted to shoot the moon on a nice moonlit evening. In fact, the moon was 95% full I believe the night he shot this. We had both been out earlier in the evening working on an upcoming PDT called "moonlit". It was a chilly and breezy night and I was happy to be done shooting. Dave was determined to get his starburst done and he crept back out in the middle of the night to stand outside of his house and point his lens skyward to capture the moon in its best burst capable. Visit him at his blog to read more about his chilly night shooting.

I, on the other hand, like to make things harder than they need to be tried to get my starburst in on multiple occasions. I first tried working at night with some street lamps and outdoor trees with Christmas light strung up. I got some nice bursts from the street lamps, but it just wasn't what I wanted. I knew I could do better. Then I had to wait what seemed like weeks to be available on a sunny day. The skies were grey every time I wanted to shoot. Luckily, I was home for the holidays and my mom and I went hiking at Squaw Creek Park in Iowa and the sun was out to play. I attempted this shot several times without much luck. Then I discovered that if I caught the sun squeezed in between the trees, I got a better "burst". Then I continued to attempt to perfect the look and kept looking for  more interesting foregrounds to work with. Eventually I saw this one remaining leaf clinging on and the sun lit it up bright orange from the rest of the stark trees. I was delighted to come away with a nice sunburst and an interesting foreground in the woods. What sold this one as my favorite when I got home was the nice lens flare angling across the frame. I shot this with a rented wide angle lens, the amazing 14-24 f/2.8 lens. 

This is a challenge to shoot, especially to get an exposure for both the sun and any foreground objects and it can be a little challenging to shoot hand held at f/22. A tripod is recommended if you want to try this. I did shoot mine hand-held, but to give myself enough shutter speed and retain some detail and light in the foreground, I increased my ISO. I highly suggest trying this technique for enhance your skills. A star-shaped moon or sun can really add interest to your images.

Coming up soon we will be sharing "Moonlit", "Long Exposure", "Near / Far", and finally "Film". The end is near, just hang with us a bit longer.