??? on controlling Star filters

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by kundalini, May 26, 2008.

  1. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    13,601
    Likes Received:
    1,929
    Location:
    State of Confusion
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I bought this 8x point B+W Star filter because I thought it would give me the effect I wanted in some night shots. If you notice on the packaging, the starred effect is extending a reasonable amount from the light source. Perfect methinks.

    I wanted a good shot from this location, my Mom's backyard.
    [​IMG]

    When I fitted the filter, the only adjustment I can figure out is to be able to rotate the rays around and not the length. I am also dissappointed with the colorization.
    [​IMG]

    Anybody have any experience, words of wisdom on what my options are to make it more pleasing. The extent is way too much for me. I also tried various apertures, shutter speeds and such with similar results.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2007
    Messages:
    14,604
    Likes Received:
    1,236
    Location:
    Cedar Hill, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I have the 6 pointed version. You will not be able to change the length or color (that will depend on the light source). Rotating it is about the best you're going to get.

    Sorry if that's not the answer you were hoping for.

    -edit-
    I haven't noticed aperture or shutter speed having any major affect on the star burst effect, you said you played around with that too, so I think that's just the way it is...
     
  3. bikefreax

    bikefreax TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Columbia, MO
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Try a different aperture as this changes the star effect also. I have had some where it actually breaks the star up.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    46
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Your best bet for ultimate control of this is to shoot without the filter and then add the effect in photoshop.
     
  5. notelliot

    notelliot TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    827
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    stop that mother down.
     
  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    37,391
    Likes Received:
    10,665
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You may get some added affect by using smaller apetures, but the main affect is a result of the strength of the light source and the angle at which it hit's the lens.
     
  7. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Messages:
    7,997
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Slapamonkey, New York
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Take it off and shoot as f/22 or f/32 for a light that is that intense, take the filter out and use it in places with considerably less intense light.
     
  8. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    13,601
    Likes Received:
    1,929
    Location:
    State of Confusion
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Thanks for the feedback. I'll have to try in a few more locations and further away from the light source before I make a final decision whether to keep it or not. ATM, not a happy camper.
     
  9. Photo-Nerd

    Photo-Nerd TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Puget Sound
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm still learning the ins and outs of photoshop... how would you easily add this?

    - Noah aka photo-nerd.com
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Before you ask I would have to say that I have never seen a star effect made in photoshop that looked good or realistic, but I am more than very welcome to be proven wrong, and told the technique may I add ;)
     
  11. astrostu

    astrostu Guest

    The length is determined mainly by the brightness of the light source. Think of the lines in the filter as little roads. (This is an incredibly simplistic idea, but I'm tired.) Each road can accept a certain percentage of the overall traffic, as opposed to a certain number of cars (so actually more like wires and electrons, but cars and roads are easier to think of).

    So now you have a light source. Think of the light as cars. Lots of cars. The brighter the light source, the more cars there are. So if you have a really bright light source, those small roads in your filter are going to take a correspondingly larger number of cars. If you have a faint light source, those roads are going to take few cars.

    To take the analogy a little further, those cars, the farther they go down the road, might stop. The farther they go, the greater the chance is that they'll stop. So, you're going to have brighter spikes around your light source closer to the source, and the farther away, the fainter they'll be.

    Hence, the only way to change the "length" that the final car will travel is to change the number of cars ... to change the length of the spikes, you have to have a less luminous light source.
     
  12. Tiberius47

    Tiberius47 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    46
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I'll assume you have a bit of photoshop knowledge...

    First, create a new blank layer.

    Select the gradient tool and choose (or make) a pale gradient that has the colours of the rainbow. Look at your above photo of the star filter to see what the colours are like.

    In the blank layer, use the gradient tool to create a gradient. You should have a circular gradient (which can be selected from the toolbar thingy at the top), with the center of the circle (the start point of the gradient) at the source of light.

    Now, create a layer mask for this gradient layer and fill it with black. This will hide the gradient.

    Choose the brush tool and choose a brush that looks like the shape you want the star filter to be. There are lots of star shaped bruishes available, and you can even make your own.

    Using an opacity of about 25%, paint white on the layer mask with the center of the star brush over the light source. You'll probably have to use a large bruish in order to get the right effect, but the exact size will depend on your image.

    Now, make the brush a bit smaller, set the opacity up to around 70% and paint white on the gradient layer (not the layer mask) This will add a highlight over the source of the light.

    You can play around with the blending modes as well if you like to vary the effect.

    You'll need to repeat this process for each light you want to have a star.

    bear in mind that this is a quick version I thought of, and it won't make the most realistice version. There are no doubt plug ins for Photoshop that do this, and the option may be available in other graphics programs as well.
     

Share This Page