Mastering the Art of Capturing Neon Lights: Tips and Tricks for Photographing

How to make bold, eye-catching photographs using colorful retro lights

While neon signs are slowly disappearing from street corners and storefronts everywhere, there are still many that attract photographers to capture their colorful light. You can learn how to capture fluorescent tubes in a variety of ways, including street photography and portraits.

How to photograph neon signs

Even in the darkest hours, neon lights up. Here are some tips to capture neon in all its glory.

  1. Widen your aperture: While neon signs can be bright, they are best captured at night. That means you want as much light to enter your camera as possible.
  2. You can increase your ISO to better capture the neon sign.
  3. Adjust your white balance manually: The LED neon sign emits bright colors but is not natural. For the best results, manually adjust your white balance in the camera.
  4. Shoot in Raw: Photographing neon night requires you to balance very bright and very dark areas. This is difficult to achieve in-camera. RAW lets you save much more information that you can use for editing your photos and produces professional results.

You can create interesting effects with your custom neon sign photography by trying out many techniques. After mastering your camera settings, add models or reflective surfaces in your photos to create unique images.

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