This is What Happens When Condensation and Narrow Apertures Mix


Photo by Max Tejera. Used with permission.

Redditor Max Tejera (u/LathanGames) took a picture of something truly awesome and totally weird. While taking a photo on the Seattle Ferry Terminal Walkway, he looked at the image and noticed something weird. Condensation was on the lens and it made the street lamps do this weird thing that you see in the image above.

This happened due to his lens being stopped down to create the star effect and then when combined with the condensation it gave off these interesting mixtures of what looks like bokeh balls and stars.

Max, who is a student at the University of British Columbia, said that it’s a quick snapshot he took took between recording the cool video that you can find after the jump. He states,

“Those street lamps are a notable landmark for any Bainbridge Island resident as they can be seen from the pedestrian overpass from the ferry terminal. It was around 8 in the evening and I was shooting with my 28mm lens. In order to emphasize the long range of the street lamps I dialed the aperture up pretty high, which according to /u/Insertgenericname on Reddit caused the aperture blades to distort the light as it did. I was under the impression it was the dew on my lens (which might also have been a factor), but I liked the effect so I worked around it.”

We think it was a combination of both–usually a narrow aperture will surely give you the star-like look (we do it all the time when testing lenses to measure flare control) but the circles around them aren’t something that we’ve seen before.

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