The night before my last HDR workshop at Precision Camera, one of the students asked me to do a one-to-one class so we spent a very enjoyable evening in downtown Austin shooting in and around the Capitol. By the time we were finished, it was completely dark but, rather than end, we decided to shoot the building from the north side to finish the evening. I would normally do this a bit earlier when there’s still some colour in the sky but the later picture still works, I reckon, due to the fact that there’s still a little bit of cloud detail visible and that there are some great starbursts from the floodlights.
If you’ve ever wondered how to get starbursts rather than blobs, the secret is to close the lens aperture down to f/16 or so. Different lenses behave differently and some give great starbursts at wider apertures. Also, it doesn’t follow that expensive lenses create better starbursts than cheaper ones. This shot was taken with my Sigma 15mm fisheye which creates superb starbursts that my professional Nikon 14-24mm can’t emulate at any aperture.
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