Haze or clouds will greatly reduce the burst effect. That being said, if there are broken clouds in front of your sun, maybe see if waiting until the sun gets into a pocket between the clouds will work. This way the clouds can be your “object” from the previous step.
Watch Your Exposure
Start by underexposing by something like two stops. As with everything, check your images as you shoot, and if you shoot with your histogram (something you probably should be doing) monitor your shadows. Take care not to clip them so that you can recover them later, in Lightroom, during post-processing.
Try to get these pesky things out of your otherwise beautiful image by changing the angle on your composition, if you can. If you just can’t make it work, simply inform anyone who asks that you left them in there on purpose. Ha Ha!
A Little Extra on Star Points
The number of star points you’ll be able to achieve is determined by the number of aperture blades there are on your specific lens. So, lens to lens this can be different. Lenses typically will have between 5-9 blades.
Star points are created where your blades meet up. Because of the way the light reflects around the lens, you’ll also have rays that extend from the opposite of where each of your rays come out. So, for example, if your lens has an odd number of blades you’ll have an even number of star points. If you have five aperture blades, you’ll get 10 points. Six blades lead to six points, and seven blades will equal 14 points.
And that is it! We hope that you enjoy trying out this fun, exciting, and surprisingly easy photographic technique the next time you have the chance!