David Johnston

How to Create Sun Star Photography

David Johnston
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Duration:   2  mins

You love shooting scenic landscapes, but you are starting to see some sameness in your compositions. Time to try something new. In this free video, professional nature photographer David Johnston takes you through the process of sun star photography. You will be amazed at what adding sun stars can do for your compositions.

In landscape images, sun star photography can manipulate the sun into a dramatic highlight feature. But how do you create a sun star? On a local farm in his community, David walks you through the process of designing these cool images. You will learn to set your camera’s aperture at f16 or f22. The small aperture opening causes a refraction and creates a dynamic sunburst. But this technique acts only as a complement to your overall main subject.

In sun star photography, you need to set up the sun on the edge of a hard line, a cloud, a horizon line, a distant lake shore, or a rock face. You can also place a sun star in the negative space of a bright blue sky as long as that sun burst doesn’t overwhelm the subject. These various suggestions all add drama to your landscape images.

In David’s own sun star photos, his favorite way to add sun stars is through his outdoor adventure photographs, using a wooded scene or a rock face to create the dynamic highlight. But on the local farm, he creates his landscape picture with a sunset bursting through the faraway trees guarding a golden pastoral field.

Follow along as David guides you through the process of how to create sun stars. He urges you to get outside and try creating sun stars. You will like the results.

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