Starburst Aperture Trick for Video – How to Create a Starburst in Your Videos

Starburst Aperture Trick for Video – How to Create a Starburst in Your Videos


So let’s talk about how to make the sun
look like this in your videos. Hey everyone, Camber here back with you
from my hotel room in China today, and I want to tell you how to get the
starburst effect from the Sun in your videos. And if you’re new here, this channel is
all about teaching you how to use your camera to make good videos so if that’s you,
consider subscribing. So as you can see from some of these examples here, having
the sunburst effect can add a pretty interesting element to your scenes. But
then the question is, how do we get this effect with your camera? Well, a lot of
times you’re used to shooting with the aperture wide open so we can get that
shallower depth of field for our shots, but for this you’re gonna need to have
your aperture closed down pretty narrow in order to create diffraction of the
light in your lens. So what’s basically happening with diffraction is that when
light waves pass through a small opening like your aperture diaphragm, the
direction is altered causing them to spread out in a wave pattern when it
hits the camera sensor. Typically when the Sun is high in the sky, it’s often
too bright and overwhelming in order to get a good starburst effect from it. So one
of the best times to get a starburst off the Sun is when it’s low in the sky such
as in the early morning or the late afternoon. And another way to help create
the starburst effect off the Sun is to position the Sun so that it’s partially
obscured behind another object such as a tree or the edge of a building because
partially obscuring the Sun also serves to amplify the effect of the narrow
aperture, and doing this will also increase the contrast in that region of
the frame and make the starburst effect even more pronounced. And here’s an
example of trying to get a starburst effect with a wide open aperture, but as
you can see, all it did was give me just a big glow around the light source
because the aperture blades were very rounded and didn’t diffract the light in
the correct way. But once I stopped the aperture down as high as it could go at
f/22, then it diffracted the light a lot more and created a good starburst effect.
You can also achieve this starburst effect at night with things like street
lamps or Christmas lights but, this is more of a photography thing because in
order to compensate for the small amount of light getting through from the very
narrow aperture, with photography you can just have a very long shutter speed in
order to get more light. But with video, since we’re restricted to having
one shutter speed that it’s typically double your frame rate in order to get
the normal film look, that doesn’t leave you with any option but to raise your
ISO a lot; and then you’re going to get a lot of noise in your video. And you can
see in this example here, I took a picture and just had a very long shutter
speed in order to have enough light, and you can see those nice starbursts there
from the lights. However with video, as you can see here, I
gave it a really slow shutter speed and that made everything very blurry. So then
I put the shutter speed back to double the frame rate and now I just put the
ISO really high up, but now it’s very grainy and pretty much unusable. So
unless you have a lot of lights to light the scene well, it’s probably not going
to work too well during the night time for video. The type of lens you have will
also have an effect on the way the starburst looks because different lenses
are made with different amounts of aperture blades; and with the more blades,
there’ll be a greater number of points on the starburst. So when the aperture
diaphragm forms a polygon instead of a circle, you get that starburst effect. So
if you have an even number of aperture blades, you’ll get one starburst point
per blade extending from the side of each blade because the opposite
starburst points overlap and even number of blades creates one visible star point
per blade. A six blade aperture therefore produces a starburst with six points, but
if you have an aperture with an odd number of blades, the diffraction extends
from the blade across the opening where it doesn’t intersect with its opposite
point. Therefore, because the starburst’s point doesn’t overlap an opposite point,
an odd number of blades creates two starbursts points per blade. So a seven
blade aperture produces a starburst effect with fourteen points. If you look
closely and count the number of starburst points here, you’ll see that
there’s 18 and that means that my aperture diaphragm is made up of nine
blades. And that’s how you create the starburst effect in your videos. Just
stop down the aperture really narrow so that you get that good diffraction of
light, and you can add an interesting element to your scenes. Now if this video
was helpful just go ahead and hit that thumbs up and let me know down below if
you do have any more questions about how to make this process work. And go ahead
and subscribe if you haven’t and remember that the only way to get better at
something is to practice. So get out there and film something. See you soon!

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