Neon Lights and Cameras: Expert Tips for Stunning Nighttime Shots

Neon photography has appeared relatively recently. The most notable features of these photographs are the use of ultraviolet light and neon signs. Photos are brighter and more attractive when they feature custom neon signs with different dimensions, colors, and shapes. Late in the evening is the ideal time to shoot because neon light sources are more effective in darkness. These 20 tips will help you take your first-night photos.

20 Neon Photography Tips

I’ve prepared for you a list of helpful strategies to help you succeed in lighting photography with neons and capture incredible photographs.

Tip 1. Get Information on Neon Photography

Neon photography is one type of street photography that is portrait-oriented and where a neon light source is essential. These photographs are generally taken outdoors, but photographers also can create lighting for studios.

Urban neon photography

Photographs taken at night are distinctive due to their beauty and appeal. Even everyday objects, that aren’t noticed much in the daytime are transformed and have a completely new look. It is possible to see common urban objects and sights differently. These scenes are revealed due to the lack of night lighting. Photographing neon cities requires long exposures. As a result, you can employ a variety of methods and strategies for creative and dramatic photos of different types of objects and forms. It is not necessary to worry about changing the light or the sun.

Neon portrait photography

This is a popular trend in modern photography because of the way the megalopolises look. It’s not possible to not organize a photo session in this urban style at night as the whole area is lit up with neon lights of various shades. To capture a stunning neon portrait, many photographers set up the lighting inside their studios.

Neon sign photography

Since their first appearance custom neon signs have caught the attention of passersby and photographers. It was often referred to as a “living flame” by the first people to notice. It’s hard to find original signs. However, if you’re fascinated by the photography of neon signs, take your camera during evening walks, going to the movies, or going to the movies. There are times when you will see the incredible lighting of a window of a shop or the sign of a cafe that is modest in the most unexpected places.

Tip 2. Shoot at the most suitable Time

Pick the most suitable time to take neon photos with light. If you only care about the signboard, select any time. If you want to take pictures of your surrounding landscape, then go for the Blue Hour. This is the first 10 minutes after sunset or 15 minutes before sunrise. You will be able to see objects surrounding you in these light conditions. But it’s quite dark and the neon signs will appear attractive. If there are only signs needed in complete darkness, it is best to do so. Night photography allows you to observe textures that aren’t as captivating in sunlight.

You’ll be able to see the things around you in these conditions of light. The area will remain dark, so neon signs will still look great. Absolute darkness is ideal in situations where you require only signs.

Tip 3. An experiment in Deserted and Quiet Places

If you are unable to concentrate in crowds, locate tranquil spots where you can take neon photos without any distractions. Be prepared for neon signs to be seen in noisy and busy areas. This is one of the main disadvantages of neon street photography. What should you do if are not looking to shoot amid a crowd of people who are rushing and pushing? You could spend more time searching for a neon sign that isn’t too far from the bustling streets. You’ll have all the space you require and be free to discover as much as you like.

Tip 4. Photograph Models

Inviting a model to participate in shooting near neon lights, you can implement a lot of impressive ideas. Invite a model to lie down under a sign in blue that reads “slow down”. A reflector can be used to reduce shadows on the face. It is also possible to use a reflector to lighten certain areas of your image in photo editing. Neon portraits are the bright and most original images of portrait photography. When taking pictures of neon signs, pay close attention to the specific colors and kinds of light. For a better understanding of how to create stunning headshots and portraits, I highly recommend the course on How to Shoot Photographs in Any Location with Frank Doorhof.

Tip 5. Portrait Pro Lightroom Presets

The primary benefit of taking photos from above is the chance to capture the change of shadow and light.

If you shoot from the bottom, you can visually lift the subject in the frame or enhance its significance and size. This angle is not suitable for neon portrait photography. The result will be an unflattering face, a large neck, and a chin.

Photographs can be taken at ground level if you can give life to objects that are not alive.

Also, you can shoot at a level by placing the camera in a side-by-side position with the subject. This type of view is thought to be neutral and natural.

Tip 6. Benefit from Environmental Light

Even the smallest of changes in lighting can affect the outcome. If you take photos at dusk or night it is crucial to utilize every light source. To minimize the noise in neon photos the subject should be bright. Make sure the light is directed towards the side of the model, and not on the back. This problem can be solved by asking the model to shift slightly in the correct direction.

Tip 7. Use Special Lighting

Any size neon sign can serve as a light source. A banner that is just a few feet in size can be used to illuminate a model for your neon portrait photography. This may be such simple words as “Pizza” or “Open”. Do not be afraid to experiment with different ideas, and you could create some real masterpieces. It is possible to use neon lights to increase the brightness and colors of your night-time portraits.

Portraits Lighting The Shot

This book can help you find the perfect lighting for your photos. READ THE BOOK

Tip 8. Include appropriate props

Different props are suggested to use for photography in neon. It could be the use of a prism. It is possible to add an interesting and subtle effect to your photographs if you place a prism in front of the camera. The light reflected from it can positively impact your photo. CDs can be used for the same purpose.

  • If you’re interested in prism photography, I recommend you view more about the crystal ball technique and the way it can be used to create neon photographs.

Tip 9. Shoot RAW for Saving Image Data

While many prefer JPEG files, I recommend that you use RAW files. You can save more data and get better quality. Additionally, it will simplify your subsequent photo editing. Because of the neon sign’s differing brightness, you’ll not be allowed to leave out this process. It is crucial to be able to edit photos of neon lights. The size of RAW files is an important drawback. These photos occupy a lot of memory card space. You should also know that RAW images must be converted before being able to process your photo.

Tip 10. Apply Split Toning

This effect is well-known and was widely used at the beginning of the film. Split Toning is about shading shadows of black-and-white images in one hue and lighter areas in another. You can achieve the desired contrast by altering the color of the image. For your neon photos, you must know the basics of color theory. Do not forget about the intensity of shadows. Keep in mind that light highlights are always pale, desaturated yellow, and dark shadows are the darkest and most saturated blue.

Tips 11. Be cautious with filters

Filters aren’t something professional photographers consider seriously. Filters are an excellent tool to cut down on blur in your images. You can use the ‘Fade tool to smoothen the shadows of noisy shadows and create the appearance of a cleaner image. “Exposure towards the right” technique is often employed in photography using neon. This technique involves taking a brighter photo than you require, and then the photo is darkened. You can also reduce noise. Be careful not to do it too much when you edit photos. It shouldn’t be noticed.

Tip 12. Study Your Camera

It is important to know the strengths and limitations of the camera. Some models may produce too sharp images, while others may underexpose the images. Certain cameras have the ability to control various settings for photography using neon, however, others do not have such an application. Test your camera, study it, and experiment with various settings and functions in order to capture wonderful photos.

I have prepared a short list of cameras that are the most appropriate for photography using neon.

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