Landscape Photography Creative Thinking – Make a Star Shaped Sun

Transform a boring landscape scene with a Star Shaped Sun.   A cloudless sky is rather boring; the reflection in the water does not show anything interesting.  The texture of the rock might be of interest to some though.  And the geometric shape of the still water pointing into the picture help the viewer stay in it a little longer.

While you are out and about taking pictures you are not always meeting perfect conditions.  Sometimes, it could be rather boring.  On this early morning, although I was in the great Acadia National Park, it did look boring to me.  Sometime in Landscape photography, creative thinking can save the shot.

Star Shaped Sun Photography: Why using it in your Pictures?

This is when you have to get out all the tricks that you have learned in the past in order to make interesting pictures out of boring scenes.  It is a challenge to create something interesting out of the ordinary.  In this early morning, in order to create an additional interest, I chose an aperture that did produce this star shaped sun.

How do you do this?  By choosing a very small aperture, in this picture, using f22, I create such a star shape from light source.  This is also valid when shooting bright light sources at night.

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I chose this picture, that is rather boring, to illustrate how this technique can help improve a scene.

Please be aware that such a small aperture has multiple challenges associated to it:

  • Because of diffraction, you will lose sharpness.  Diffraction occurs at very small aperture.  Usually, you try to shoot at f11 or less in order to avoid diffraction.
  • Your speed will need to be slower and this means your ISO higher, to compensate for the very limited light available at f22.  Using a tripod would be helpful;
  • Shooting into the sun usually create flare.  While flare could add an additional interest to your picture, flare effects are rather unpredictable.  To avoid flare, try composing differently and remove any filter you have in front of the lens.  Flare can usually been seen in the viewfinder.

So you can try this whenever you like.  Keep the sun, or a light source, in the frame and close down your aperture to f22.  That is all there is to it.

Should you want additional tools in your bag of boring landscape scene, take the time to read on Pro Secret for Creative Landscape Photography and How to compose more Creative Landscape Photographs.  My Fall Colors Photography Guide also includes a dozens of ideas on the topic.

In your own whereabouts, doing Landscape Photography, did you ever intentionally created a Star Shaped Sun by closing the aperture?  How did you liked the resulting picture?   I would love you to share your own ideas with our readers.