An Aberration

Spherical Abberation occurs when a light source reflects incorrectly through a camera lens. Instead of focusing light in straight lines towards the sensor/film, the light source bounces around inside the lens, creating halos and spotlights all over the final picture. It’s a cool effect, but it can ruin pictures sometimes. In some cheap cameras, photographers poke pinholes in the camera body to create aberrations. I’ve experimented with aberrations before. Here are some of the results.

I own a filter called a Starlight that has lines etched on it. You can see the effect in the picture of the network equipment. Light hits the filter and skids across the etchings before falling into the lens. It intentionally creates aberration in those halos. I took that picture as an 8 second exposure followed by a flash. that gave the status lights enough time to create large halos.

In the moon/streetlight picture, the rays coming from the moon are caused by burn more than aberration. In that picture, light acts on the sensor like a pen on paper. the longer you hold the pen to the paper, the larger the spot, and the more and bigger rays you get.

The swamp picture creates aberration in a different way. The sun is just inside the frame. To create these aberrations, you need to set up an angle that forces the strongest light source to bonce inside the lens. The closer to the center of the frame, the less bounce you get. I’m sorry for the camera shake… it was a longer exposure than I thought it would be.

One Response to “An Aberration”

  1. Suresh Gundappa Says:

    Try 45 degree angle as you can get long rays. Also try under exposure and Tripod for good results.

    good shots!


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