I try real hard to get starbursts in my backlit images, whether they be landscapes or horses on the beach. It is really not that difficult to do with landscapes, just set the lens to a small aperture and aim into the sun. If you can partially obscure the sun it gets even easier. It is the physics of the lens and the aperture blades that makes the burst as the light refracts in the lens. Some lenses make better bursts than others. My Canon 24-105 and my Tamron 15-30 both make really nice starbursts.
It gets a little trickier with horses running on the beach, because I have no control over the position of my subject. I can do my best to get myself in the right position with the right angle and elevation so that my subject will be covering the sun, but I have not control over the fine placement in the final composition. That’s why I shoot so many images! A lot get thrown away.
It is a lot easier for the riders sitting on or walking their horses. I walk along, firing in continuous mode, varying the cameras angle and height trying to have the rider or horse obstruct a portion of the sun.
All of these images were shot with the 24-105mm lens at an aperture of f/14.
Enjoy and let me know your favorite.
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