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Star Filter

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by johnben, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. johnben

    johnben New Member

    Hi there

    I am kind of new to photography and have been tasked to take some product shots.

    I have a Canon 30D with an EFS 17-85 mm lens with a star filter attached.

    I need to get that 'star effect' on plastic snow. Subtle - but noticeable.

    I have access to a very small (2m x 2m) makeshift studio with 4 cheap spots in each corner and 2 (what look like) professional lights on stands that kick out some serious heat.

    The web only tells me about getting these results at night-time, so i'm struggling.
    It is truly a job for a pro but, i am only into my second week and my boss wants it done in-house whatever.:confused:

    Thanks in advance

  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    A star filter usually works on highlights ( bright spots). I can't quite imagine what effect you are after. No idea what night time has to do with it unless you have read something about star filter and street lights.

    For product photography the aim usually is to avoid shadows so lighting from all directions using studio lights and reflectors is what is needed and it sounds like you have that.

    You might try a bit of silver glitter or something to generate reflections for your sparkles but you might need a bit of direct light to give the reflection. The on camera flash might do it if the flash compensation is set to -1 or -2 to avoid making a shadow.
  3. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Star filters are generally used at night. In effect they work on point sources of light so to stand any chance of success you need to create these somehow. Glitter may well work, but your problem is how to light enough of it at the same time. I assume your boss wants it done in-house for cheapness, thus putting you into an awkward position really. The only other thing that comes to mind is suitably placed leds. At least you have the facility for shadow free lighting.
  4. johnben

    johnben New Member


    I am after a small sprinkling of stars on a fake snow product - quite random.
    I also have a Speedlite 580EX Flash but, i have not fully understood it and don't know whether i should be using it or not ??


  5. Old git

    Old git In the Stop Bath

    How long do you have to prepare?
  6. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    This is quite likely a matter of trial and error I'm afraid!
  7. john_g

    john_g Well-Known Member

    Yes - if you look at photos where a starburst filter has been used, you'll find that it's light sources within the frame that show the starburst effect you're after. This means that you have two ways to go - either make sure that your subject has bright spots which will trigger the starburst or (and this would be the way I'd go given the set-up you've described), do it in Photoshop (or Photoshop Elements) using a technique such as this:

  8. johnben

    johnben New Member

    I only have a few hours on monday and this weekend to practice.
    I do have a special snow sparkle product which catches light very well.

    Thanks all for your help
  9. Old git

    Old git In the Stop Bath

    All you can do now is the best you can. You have no time, little support and to be honest not enough experience to pull the shot off. I don't blame you, the boss who says you can do it is asking for failure through either not getting you training or being too tight to hire a pro to take the shots he wants.
  10. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    I'd suggest to your boss that he either pays for you to go on several courses so you can learn the skills you need, or gets a pro in to do the job.

    On the other hand... I think it might be easier for people to help you if you can post an example of what you are trying to recreate?
  11. Kettering_Jeremy

    Kettering_Jeremy Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't it be easier to add the sparkley bits in photoshop after the event?

    I've done it before for a wedding ring, and a tiarra.

    There are plenty of free photoshop brushes on the web that will do it.

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