How to Capture Starburst Photography

rHowtoCaptureStarburstPhotography1

how to capture a starburst photo

how to take starburst photos

See the difference?

I’ve been taking my own photos for quite some time now, but it’s only recently that I decided to learn how to make those bursting light shapes that you see on Instagram and Flickr. Gorgeous, aren’t they? I had one or two happen by accident, but I wanted to know how to capture starbursts on my terms. I googled a ton of information and got so overwhelmed trying to figure out starburst photography that I decided I should make a simple 1-2-3 post whenever I finally learned the craft.

After many experiments and a few photo shoots, and it just so happens that starburst photography is actually pretty easy! Here are a few secrets to capture magical starbursts each time.

how to take sun flare photography

First, you need full sun. Partially cloudy days will not help. You need bright sun to be directly behind you for this kind of project. Stand with your subject partially blocking the light from one side to let the burst shine through them.

Second, you need the golden hour. I found it easiest to shoot starbursts about 30 minutes before sunset. Much earlier than that and your pictures will turn out kind of harsh and the bursts won’t be as noticeable.

how to get a starburst in my photo

Third, you need a narrow depth of field. I really like aperture 2.8 and below for lots of beautiful bokeh, and that is why I had never captured starbursts with the exception of a few accidents when I first got my Nikon. You need to set that aperture to around f11 to f16! All of these starbursts were created with f13, on a tripod, in Aperture Priority mode. If your AP mode is making your shutter too long, switch to Manual for a shorter shutter speed (to avoid blurriness like above) and edit later.

Shooting starbursts is really fun, though I admit I was frustrated at first because I was trying to rush. That’s the trouble with using a tripod to take all your own photos – you are always in a hurry lest you lose the sun.

Here are a few detail shots of the rest of my outfit, non starburst, but I’m still a fan.

Would you ever try this photo trick?

Stay Beautiful,

XOXO Liz

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  • Love this!! These pictures are so so pretty! I'm for sure going to try this! Thanks for the tips!
    ~Sara

    • You are welcome. I hope this proves useful for you!

  • Awesome photos! Thanks for the tips! =)

    – Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

    • Thank you and you're welcome. πŸ™‚

  • Thankyou so much for these tips lovely! I'm always looking for ways & tips to improve my photography. These photos are too beautiful ^_^

    Katie // Words By Katie

  • Great tips girl! As someone who takes all her own photos as well, I'm a total geek when it comes to learning more about photography. This effect is so dreamy and makes everything seem like a scene out of a fairytale!

    Also, I have that same exact crochet piece that you're wearing over your skirt!! I'm actually en route to Jamaica with it packed in my bag. ;p
    xo
    N
    Style Tomes ||ST on IG

    • How cool!!! My mom picked it up in San Francisco ages ago so I have no idea what it's actually for or where it came from. Am I styling it correctly? Do you have any other tips? Haha. Have a great time in Jamaica!

  • Oh I would most definitely try this out, especially because I recently captured some shots like this by accident and they ended up turning out so beautiful!

    http://www.thesundaymode.blogspot.com.au

    • Oh how I love the thing that is the happy accident. Enjoy your photos.

  • The photos turned out amazing! I would love to try out this starburst trick! I will try to do it this summer πŸ™‚ And it sounds quite easy to do as well. x

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

    • I am glad you like it! You are right – it's really not hard. Circumstance is more the key than anything. If only I could control the sun!

  • Your earrings are gorgeous! My boyfriend and I shoot during the golden hour whenever we can and the haze and light flair you get on the photos is truly stunning. I love your use of it too, it looks like an actual sun with rays showing through.

    Raindrops of Sapphire

    • Thank you! I am slowly learning to appreciate the golden hour more and more.

  • These photo tips are great and something I truly needed today! I'm still playing around with aperture settings and trying to learn all of the things my camera has to offer. Your photos are stunning, as well as your outfit- very boho-chic and hippy!

    My Lovelier Days

    • Feel free to contact with me with any questions you might have! I am no professional, but learning my camera has been so fulfilling and I would take absolute joy in sharing my discoveries with others!

  • I most definitely try this kind of photography! Seriously, thanks for your tips! I've been trying to get this kind of shot, but now I realize I need to move the aperture!

    xx | http://www.recavi.com