The Starburst Effect

I am not happy with the image below but I’m posting it to show the starburst effect that many mentioned they wanted to see (in the comments on this photo).  Here’s the image with the very strong starburst (click to view it larger on flickr):

Pennybacker...The Starburst Effect

When I posted the original shot of the sunset taken at Pennybacker Bridge I mentioned how an aperture of f22 really brought out the starburst effect on the sun.  Pete Talke ( taught me to use a tiny aperture to get this effect while we were on a photowalk with the Austin Photography Group.  When I saw the sun in between the clouds and the horizon — just about to start disappearing — I knew it was the perfect opportunity to try for this effect.

This set of f22 exposures was my first choice to process from that outing (I was anxious to see how my experiment turned out) but I couldn’t get the detail and contrast that I wanted — the orange colors seemed to overwhelm all the exposures and try as I might I couldn’t figure out how to deal with it (very obvious when compared to the image I did decide to post on flickr).  I’ve only owned Photoshop for a month and don’t know much in the way of techniques and tricks (the usual masking wasn’t helping)…didn’t have success trying to deal with it in Lightroom either. I’d love to hear your suggestions for dealing with this.

That said, I think the starburst effect is pretty cool.  I also learned a lesson which boils down to “keep your options open”.  I’m glad I did that by firing off exposures at other apertures…


2 responses

  1. Wow – the starburst is enormous in this shot! Both versions of this shot are superb so I’m not going to suggest one over the other. I’d vote for either in a competition.

    January 27, 2010 at 10:15 pm

  2. Thanks, Dave — I’ll hit you up for votes someday 🙂

    February 11, 2010 at 9:58 pm

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