Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Like what you see here? Subscribe to the Tech Tips newsletter!   Email: Subscribe

Get A Startburst In Your Photo

Monday, February 15th, 2016 by | Filed Under: Digital Photography

A question I get on a regular basis is “How do you get those cool starbursts in some of your photos?”

eople have speculated on everything from special filters to photoshop to alien intervention (OK, made that last one up) – but it’s way easier than that.

To get a starburst in your photo, you just need a DSLR and a couple steps:

1. Set your F/stop somewhere between F8 and F16. Generally the smaller the opening (f/16) the more dramatic the starburst. I personally start at around F/11 (aperture priority) and that seems to work pretty well for most of my starburst attempts.

Tech Note – Going much past F/11 or especially F/16 starts to introduce diffraction, softening your overall image, so keep that in mind as you stop down. I usually try to pick an F/stop that will give me a nice sunstar without digging too deep into the smaller apertures. Click here for a video I made about diffraction.

2. Get the sun against a hard surface. When the sun is right against a mountain, horizon, rock, or even a tree and and you’re set in that F/11-ish range, it should produce a nice starburst. No special gear or processing required  The aperture of the lens itself produces the starburst. (NOTE – yes, I’ve seen images where the sun was not against a hard surface, but in my experience starbursts are easier to capture when you use the “hard surface” rule.)


So, what actually causes the starburst? 

The starburst is basically created when the light slices past the points on the lens aperture where the blades physically overlap. The more blades your lens apature has, the more points your starburst has.

Again, keep in mind that different lenses and even different focal lengths within the same zoom lens can produce different effects. At this point I’m pretty familiar with how my main lenses will respond when trying to produce a starburst, but that wasn’t always the case.


f you’re new to creating starbursts (which you probably are if you’re reading this : ), then my advice is to quickly check the photos on the back of your camera as you shoot. Try different F/stops and focal length combos until you see a starburst you can be proud of! Each lens and focal length of a zoom can produce different results, so be sure to experiment.

Happy Shootin’

Oh, and as always, your comments and feedback is appreciated

For more great photography tips and stunning nature photographs, check out


– See more at:

Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “Get A Startburst In Your Photo”

  1. Joe Williams says:

    Thanks for these wonderful tips. It has b een 30 years since I used a starburst filter.

  2. Bill Feeley says:

    Steve, This question is not regarding Startburst but is photo-related.
    Now that Google has decided to “kick Picasa to the curb” do you have any recommendations? I just take snapshots with phone or camera and then store on my laptop. I normally do not do any editing. I’m not a big fan of “cloud storage” I would rather have then on my laptop with backup to external HDD.
    Thank you

Leave a Reply

Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

WorldStart's Tech Tips Newsletter

  • Tech Tips Daily - Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

  • Tech Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Tech Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • WorldStart's Daily Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Daily Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Daily Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.

Enter Email Address:


Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Free Newsletter Signup

Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive