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Sunstar

Laura Milholland (Yahoo!, FZ10 group, 22 August 2005)...

Paul taught me the trick for the sunstar when we were still doing film cameras. He read the `how to' in an article by Galen Rowell years back. What you need to do is have your aperture at F/8 and at the wide end (not zoomed) and then aim toward the sun with it peeking around or through something; move around until you just catch a small bit of the sun peeking through.

On the digital, sometimes it looks like you're going to get a white line all the way down the screen, but it usually doesn't show. Digital is great, because you can try it and then check to see how it came out and try again if needed. (By the way, with film camera, you can check if you're getting it by `stopping down' just before shooting).

Muir Woods National Monument. FZ10

Here are a couple of better examples of a sunstar I took another time:

Arboretum in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Sony DSC-F717

Muir Woods National Monument, California. Sony DSC-F717

...I should also mention that it is not uncommon to get colorful sunflares in these shots. Sometimes they work positively in the shot, and sometimes not. Best to take several shots, as you can't always see the color flares on the LCD.

Sunstars are fun to do and not difficult. It's mostly a matter of remembering to do it when you're in a situation that lends itself to it. Have fun trying this -- you'll love the results I'm sure.


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David Fong 2009-09-04