photographic excitement with these dazzling star effects created
from original point light sources or bright reflections. The
Star effect will become more pronounced with a brighter, larger
source. Filter may be rotated for creative control.
Lighting can be enhanced
in ways that go beyond what exists in nature.
Star filters create points
of light, like "stars," streaking outward from a central
light source. This
can make lighting within the scene take on a more glittering,
This effect is produced by a series of thin lines etched into the flat
optical surface of a clear filter. These
lines act as cylindrical lenses, diffracting light points into
long thin lines of light running perpendicular to the etched
Lines on the filter positioned horizontally produce vertically oriented
and brightness of the star lines produced are first a function of
the size, shape, and brightness of the light source. You
have additional control through the choice of a particular spacing
between the lines on the filter. Generally
these spacings are measured in millimeters.
A 1mm spacing has twice as many lines per unit area as a 2mm spacing.
It will produce a brighter star for any given source.
Spacings offered generally range from 1mm to 4mm, as well as both
narrower and wider for specialty effects.
The number of directions
that lines run in determines the number of points produced.
Lines in one direction produce a two-pointed star, just a streak
through the center of the light. There are 4, 6, 8, 12 and more points available.
With an 8 or 12 point filter, the many star lines will tend to
overpower the rest of the image, so use them carefully.
Although the more common types have a symmetrical arrangement of
points, they can also be obtained with asymmetric patterns, which
tend to appear more "natural," less synthetic.
Examples of these latter types are the Tiffen Hollywood
Star, Hyper Star, North Star, and
Vector Star filters. They can be used together to create remarkably
As with any filter that
has a discrete pattern, be sure that depth of field doesn't cause
the filter lines to become visible in the image. Using small apertures, or short focal length lenses make this
more likely, as will suing a smaller film format, such as 16mm vs.
35mm given an equal field of view. Generally,
mid-range apertures or larger are sufficient, but test before
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