Category Archives: starbursts

It’s National Public Lands Day

Sunrise Over Upper Geyser Basin

Sunrise and sunstar over Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

It’s National Public Lands Day, today, Saturday September 22nd, 2018.  Where will you be?  Perhaps visiting a national park, monument, recreation area or historic site?

The image above was not taken during National Public Lands Day, but rather during a very early summer morning while touring the boardwalks around Old Faithful, in Upper Geyser Basin.  The back-lighting very nicely accentuated the steam rising from the geysers and hot springs, and I wanted to try for a sunstar as well, bumping the aperture up to f/18.

During the summer months, cooler mornings are the best times to view lots of steam as well as avoid the inevitable crowds, who usually don’t get out there until sometime starting at 8:00 a.m.  Cool mornings (and wintertime) create more condensation in the air, which makes the landscape steamier than during the hotter portion of the day.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Filed under Geology, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, starbursts, summer, sunrise, Travel, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

Creating A Sunburst In Your Photos

Late Afternoon Sunstar At Sunset Point

How many of you have seen photos like this one, where the sun appears many-rayed?  It’s called a sunburst (aka starburst) and my article in today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler tells you what it is and how you can achieve one. Even if you don’t like the effect, you’ll still learn something about your camera’s manual settings.

Click on the photo above to be taken to the article.

 

 

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Filed under Arches National Park, Big Bend, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canon, Equipment, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Photography In The National Parks, starbursts, Zion National Park

Christmas Tree in the Window

Christmas Tree In The Window

To stave off the post-Thanksgiving-tryptophan sleepies, I decided to clean my living room window so that my lovely little Christmas tree would show up better from the outside.  Naturally, I had to take tripod and camera out after dark to capture images of this one little tree glowing brightly in the night.  Apparently, I am either the only person with a tree in the entire apartment complex, or I am the only person who likes showing off their tree through the window.

Beckys Christmas Tree

This photo was taken shortly after sundown.  I deliberately set the f-stop to 22 so the lights would create little starbursts.  The ISO was 500, I used my 24-70mm lens with the focal length set to 24mm, and the shutter was open for 30 seconds.

Christmas Tree In The Window

I switched from to my 16-35mm lens because I wanted a much wider-angle view of the complex and my tree.  The only issue was the fact that the oak tree branches in the yard drooped quite a bit.  The ever-so-slight breeze took those drooping branches and blurred them during the 30-second shot.  The ISO was 250.  I had to use noise-reduction with this image (yes, you can sometimes get grainy low-light photos even when using a low ISO) and I ultimately cropped out as much of the offending blurred branches as I could, giving this image a sort of pseudo-pano look.

O Christmas Tree

Lots of frames in this image above:  the front lights on the brick columns, the frame created by the apartment complex architecture, and the frame created by the oak tree limbs.

Magic Tree

The Magic Tree.   Easy to do if you ever decide to experiment yourself.  Just put your camera and zoom lens on a tripod, set the camera for however many seconds you wish, then play around with zooming the lens in and out to get some funky effects while the shutter is open.

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Filed under Canon Lens, Christsmas, Equipment, Holidays, low light photography, Night Photography, Photography, starbursts

A Little Starburst Fun at Brazos Bend State Park, Texas

Evening At Creekfield Lake

For the first time ever, I think, in the 15+ years I have lived here in Texas, I drove over to Brazos Bend State Park in the late afternoon.  Being the morning person that I am, I usually visit this park during the slightly-post-dawn hours before anybody else arrives.

The day was clear and cool and I thought it would be a nice time to try for some evening photos.  Plus, it gave me the opportunity to practice my starburst skills on the lowering sun.

How is this accomplished?

Set your aperture to f22.  It’s as easy as that!

Of course, you’ll need to work with your shutter speed and ISO  to assure you aren’t getting a totally under-exposed image in your quest for a starburst effect.  An aperture of f22 means not much light is getting through to the sensor via that route.

I played around with the ISO so some of these mages are at 320 while others are at  400.

My shutter speeds ranged from between 1/20 to 1/13 of a second.

Needless to say, this was all done on a tripod.

Evening At Creekfield Lake1

Evening At Creekfield Lake2

Note, the longer the shutter speed, the larger and more pronounced the starburst effect.  These images were shot using my Canon 5D Mk III and 16-35mm lens set at 16mm.

Evening At Creekfield Lake3

Now that you see how easy it is to get a starburst effect, go on out, yourself, and have some fun with your camera and lens setup and f22 your way to a neat starburst.

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Filed under Brazos Bend State Park, Equipment, Parks, Photography, starbursts, Texas