I settled on a Sirui tripod about a week ago but had zero time to take it out for a test run. Tonight seemed as good a night as any, so I took a walk around the Esplanade and picked a few good locations to shoot. This is a great tripod. I never thought to spend money on something like this, I always put my cash into classic glass, but this tripod was well worth it. The ball head gives me so much more control over composition and fixing the horizon line.
For those interested, and I get asked this a lot, there is an easy way to get these starbursts. Here’s my super simple photography starburst tutorial:
1. Wait until it gets very dark outside, then find a place with several bright lights, or small bright light sources. Set up your tripod, or find a good, flat surface that won’t shake where you can sit your camera on top.
2. Set your lens to anything between F8 and F16, or even higher.
3. Set your ISO to 200 or 250.
4. Adjust your shutter speed to 10 seconds. If you don’t feel like waiting around or you don’t have a stable surface, you can get away with 2 seconds or even 1 second, but you will need to increase your ISO a bit, to 800 or even 1000 depending on the lighting conditions. 10 seconds and longer can get some pretty intense results though, worth a try!
5. If you have a timer on your camera, use it. If you have a remote control shutter release, use that instead. The point a timer or a shutter release remote control is to avoid the vibration caused by your finger pressing the shutter release. Any tiny vibration during the time the shutter is open will affect your photo and may cause the results to be unfavorable.
Have fun and experiment!