How To Take Neon Light Photography Tips From an Online School

Posted by

Neon Light Photography When enough shots have accumulated at home, on the street, in cafes, and in other public places, it’s time to think about some unusual locations. Photos taken against a neon background look mysterious and give the model a completely different look. A similar effect is achieved by using special lamps. Let’s see in detail how to take photos with neon.

Why Do People Love Neon-Style Photos?

Neon light can be widely used not only in studio photography but also in street photography. With it, you can illuminate the model in various ways, which will lead to dramatic changes in style. Light sources in this case are neon signs. Sparse neon, helium, carbon dioxide, or any other gas in electrified tubes can turn an ordinary model into an ideal of photographic art with a slight touch of retro.

With the help of such specific lighting, a gloomy tone, and an energetic or, conversely, mystical atmosphere are achieved. A particularly exciting picture with a neon background was taken at night. The reflection of a bright shop window in a shiny car hood or the refraction of amazing light in raindrops will make the photo unique and unrepeatable.

Neon lights can be of different colors – pink, blue, and green. This brings a specific mood and character to the finished work. Using artificial light, you can achieve neon shades in the photo. But most often photographers use street photography. In this case, it is necessary to take into account the level of air humidity and other climatic conditions of nature.

For shooting specific portraits, reflectors are used that can brighten the face of the model and at the same time not darken the surrounding space. They are also used if you need to make a clear object and a blurry background.

It is advisable to shoot immediately after sunset. This is the perfect time for neon against a darkened blue sky and the remnants of sunlight on the horizon. You don’t need to make any special settings for the camera. Natural exposure will look perfect.

At first, it is desirable to use the RAW mode. If any flaws are found in the pictures at first, they can be eliminated by editing. Lightroom allows you to improve the appearance of exposure, and shadows, perfectly adjust the white balance, add or remove any color.

Basic Tips for Taking Neon Light Photography:-

A novice photographer will have to learn a lot of details in order to know exactly how to prepare for shooting. Much attention should be paid to the camera settings, optimizing it as much as possible for high-quality night photography.

Aperture adjustment:-

Experienced photo masters from the online photo school advise using aperture up to f/1.8. In this position, the camera will be able to let in more light. You should shift the shutter speed to the 1/60 mark or further reduce it to the 1/15 value. The latter option is only suitable for a stationary object when working with a tripod.

A short shutter speed is used for working at night in the absence of posing. The higher the frame rate, the less light will enter the camera. If you want to “freeze” an interesting movement, go to 1/100 or higher, just remember to limit the light that hits the camera sensor when doing this.

Increase ISO:-

To learn how to convey color in a photo, you should understand the ISO values. Adjust the sensitivity of the camera sensor to light will need to be set to the highest. To let as much neon into the frame as possible, it is advisable to shoot at a slow shutter speed. In this case, you need a tripod, then the photos taken at night will turn out to be clearer. If you hold the camera in your hands, the frames will be blurry.

Keep in mind that high ISO settings lead to increased graininess in frames. By setting the RAW mode, you can later get rid of this drawback.

Manual focus:-

Care must be taken to separate the model from the background by taking into account distance, focal length and aperture. Proper manual settings will achieve the desired depth of field.

If you want to get the bokeh effect in neon-lit images, it is advisable to set the focal length to 85 mm. Then the object being shot will successfully stand out against a dark background. The focus can be changed depending on the task. For a close-up portrait, it is better to reduce the distance from the model to the light source. But it should be borne in mind that in this case, colored highlights from the neon showcase may be reflected on the face.

Temperature setting:-

To avoid neon reflections on the model’s face, setting the color temperature of the modeling light will help. With such a device, you can adjust the color temperature by turning the dial.

The parameters in degrees Kelvin will then be displayed on the rear screen. Thus, it will be possible to achieve warmth in the picture or, conversely, make it colder as needed. If the camera is mirrorless, the results will be displayed in real-time.


Playing with light and shadow is easy with the use of artificial light. Ambient, well-exposed lighting focuses on the subject, balancing with the surroundings. Light-shaping attachments help to place the light on most of the face and thus push the shadows away. For this purpose, curtains or honeycombs are used to leave the background in the shade.

Often, the floor does not need light when shooting a model in full growth. It is desirable to modify the lighting fixtures before shooting, so as not to tire the subject being shot with rearrangements and settings. It is important not only to work out the background behind the model but also to pay attention to the clothes, the color of which must be combined with the overall color scheme. If you use sunglasses, neon reflections will be beautifully reflected in the glasses.

Summary of Neon Light Photography:

Knowing how to make neon lighting is not enough. It takes a lot of practice to get the photos “like in the movies”. To do this, you should decide on the purpose of the photo shoot, choose the external lighting, and the right background, and bring the whole composition to an overall balance.

You May Also Like:- How To Get Motivated And Achieve Everything Your Goals