Vintage meets vanguard: Use neon light photos to make your images pop.
Get inspired by cool professional tips and tricks to capture moody, vintage, or futuristic vibes (think Blade Runner, Stranger Things)
- You need to adapt to the weather conditions and the environment.
- The right settings for your camera are a high ISO, low f-stop, and high ISO.
- Use light reflectors tools and LEDs for portraits
- Neon’s neon pink, blue, and green colors are great for working with
- RAW mode allows you to add editing data in posts.
Use neon light to create an atmosphere.
Photography that uses neon lights is known as neon light photography. Neon can illuminate models in interesting and unique ways. It also plays a central role in street Photography. Learn about neon light photography and find techniques to help you experiment with this vibrant style.
Neon lighting’s timeless intrigue.
The neon signs are a great way to draw attention, whether it’s in Times Square or a vintage bowling alley, or a diner down the street. These light sources were first invented in 1910, and they became very popular in the 1930s and 40s. They are made of rare neon, helium, and carbon dioxide in electrified tubes. They create an exciting effect that has attracted the attention of many photographers and videographers in many fields.
Neon is a common element in popular culture. This includes Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (where neon illuminates eerie scenes) and Blade Runner’s tech-noir mystery. It has been synonymous with the past and is now back thanks to popular television shows like Stranger Things. The vintage feel of neon can be a huge draw for photographers, regardless of whether they are working in Hollywood, art, or fashion.
With good composition, your unique viewpoint, and the right techniques neon can set a moody tone or create an eerie aura. Jesse McMinn, a photographer, said that neon signs from the 1960s and 1970s give it a nostalgic feel. Luis Acosta also says, “It is just cool, modern, futuristic.” “It’s a fashion trend that people are following. The coolest way to bring light into your photos is with neon photography. It’s an innovative way to photograph at night.
Street photography meets night photography.
Neon sign photography can be done in a studio but it is more common to capture neon signs on the streets. It is impossible to control the environment while shooting street photography. You must be able to adapt to the surroundings. The dry environment of Las Vegas will pose different challenges than Hong Kong’s humidity or London’s rainy Piccadilly circus.
“Neon is most common in Florida shop windows. There is a bit less signage. McMinn explains that neon lights are very expensive to replace and can often be found in windows. “The best thing about this is that you can capture neon through the glass. Glass can sometimes get stained or have condensation because Florida is very humid. So you get an extra built-in filter.
Photography of neon signs should be done between dusk and night, as most signs are brightly lit. For night photography, make sure to optimize your camera settings.
Neon at night: Camera settings
Low-light shots can be achieved by increasing your ISO setting. This adjusts your camera’s light sensitivity. For night shots, slower shutter speeds can be more beneficial. For night shots, a tripod is a good idea. Slower shutter speeds can cause motion blur if your camera isn’t stable.
You can shoot in manual mode to have better control over your settings. “The more ISO you use, the more grain you will have in your shots,” Acosta explained that you may have to compromise this sometimes. But if you shoot RAW, you can do more editing in the post. Low light can always be corrected.”
Acosta uses an F-stop at f/1.8 for the aperture so that the camera can capture the maximum light.
A shutter speed of 1/60 is recommended for darker environments. You can also use a lower shutter speed if the subject is still or if you are using a tripod. Non-posed night photography will require a faster shutter speed. Faster shutter speeds will allow for less light to enter the camera. For candid action, you might use 1/100 to freeze it, but this could limit the amount of light hitting your camera sensor.
Photographs of portraits can now be done in neon.
The neon pinks, greens, and blues of neon lights can be a unique addition to portraiture or headshots. McMinn believes that shooting neons is more fun than taking a standard-lit picture. Make your profile photo on social media unique or add color to an editor portrait.
Acosta says, “To prepare for a neon lighting shoot, I’ll know exactly what time it is, where I want to be with the model, and then what I want in terms of what I want and what gadgets I should use.” Even if you have the same neon light, these factors allow for flexibility.
The best portraits show the subject’s personality and portrait lighting is a great choice for creative storytelling. A light reflector is a great tool for shooting neon portraits. You can focus enough light on your subjects while not darkening the background. A reflector or LED light can be used to keep your subject in focus and well-lit. It also blurs light sources behind the subject.
The timing of your photoshoot with neon.
Portrait photographers love the sunset yellow hour. However, neon photos are best taken with a model during the blue hour. Blue hour happens right after sundown. Even though it is still low light, the sky’s blue hue can provide the perfect backdrop to shots using neon lighting.
Acosta says that there is still some sunlight in the blue hour. It’s not totally dark. It is dark enough to be able to see neon lights. This means that you don’t need as much concern about your camera. You can get a good exposure. If you are able to shoot at that moment I would recommend it.
McMinn explained that recently, McMinn has been limiting his use of the gear. “I try to make it more artistic when I go out. It helps me become a better photographer. I move around to look for different angles. I am amazed at the effects that I can capture on camera, as opposed to what my eyes see.
You don’t have to be limited by the gear you have, or even the camera. Many photographers who started out with digital cameras, such as those from Nikon, Canon, and Sony, were humble. “I started taking pictures with my iPhone. That was a good thing. McMinn states that she learned composition. McMinn states, “That’s how you learn the best — by doing it hands-on and making mistakes. Keep shooting and don’t worry about the details.
McMinn urges photographers serious about photography, however, to purchase a camera soon. A quality digital camera will enable you to shoot RAW which gives you more information to use when editing your photos.
You can edit neon-filled images to make them pop.
You will learn through trial and error, so it is important to be capable of quickly organizing and previewing your shots. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom makes it simple to review, organize and perform mass editing on your photos.
Acosta said, “I’ll upload all of my photos into Lightroom, and fix anything like shadows and exposure, highlights, and highlights.” “Then I may even change some color. You can take out the purple if you don’t want it.”
White Balance is an option that you can use to ensure white objects are white in your photos. It is possible to adjust the white balance in the camera or in Lightroom. You can adjust the white balance to add warm or cool yellow hues in your neon photos.
You can tweak the color in your neon shots using the Lightroom Vibrancy and Hue, Saturation, and Luminance sliders. You can save the settings you love to a Lightroom Preset that you can use for more photos or future shots.
Lightroom is also available for editing photos on the go. McMinn explains that she mainly transfers everything to her iPhone with Adobe Lightroom, and then edits on iPhone 12. “It’s simple to edit everything on there, for social media.”
You can also enhance your neon photos in other ways.
Let’s say you want neon photography. You can have one subject in the foreground, and two neon signs in the background. The focus must be maintained on everything else. Lightroom can be used in this case to focus stack photos (combine images with different focal points into one image), to create compositions that are completely crisp.
Alternatively, you can combine images in Adobe Photoshop to create amazing composite images featuring neon lights.
Lightroom and Photoshop can be used to create your neon dreams with Adobe’s effect.