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Aperture Starbursts

Starbursts revisited

Studying stuff through a lens aperture

I am interested in creating starbursts through the use of overexposure. Because it was convenient I had been using the planet Venus as the light source to do this, and sharing the project with others within the membership. But now Venus has departed from the evening twilight it is time to take more of a look at the results. And as I have around 1500 images there is a lot to study and learn from.

Here is a series of five all taken on the same evening. The total exposure level is all the same, but using different combinations of aperture and exposure time at a fixed ISO setting and camera lens. The aim of this part of my Aperture project is to generate the knowledge I need to enable the creative use of starbursts. I want to use these to illustrate overexposure of highlights in a controlled fashion.

This series is (only) 11 stops overexposed and shows that I can use this lens to generate different forms of starbursts from bright objects on a dark background. The rather untidy image on the far right is with the lens fully open and this untidiness was a little unexpected. There was evidently something a little asymmetric in the light path within this lens. Closer inspection revealed that the black flocking at the output end of this lens had come lose and was shedding a few fibres too. Time to get it onto the workbench and do some preventive maintenance before it starts shedding particles into my shutter and sensor. More stuff to do!

Tech bit

Nikon D750 set to ISO 500 fitted with a Nikkor 300mm f/4.5 ED manual lens. From left to right f/16, f/11, f/8, f/5.6 and f/4.5 with exposure time to keep the overall exposure at a constant level. Image is 350 pixels tall.