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Bringing Vibrancy to Life: A Guide to Photographing Neon Signs

How you can create eye-catching, bold photos using retro lights.

Neon signs are disappearing quickly from our streets and storefronts. However, many of them still exist and continue to draw photographers who wish to capture their unique light. Learn how to use these fluorescent tubes to add retro flair to all your photography, from street photography to portraits.

How to photograph neon signs

Even on the darkest night, neon is bright and dazzling. Here’s how to photograph custom neon sign in its entirety:

  1. Use wide apertures: Neon signs are very bright and best photographed at night.
  2. Increase the ISO of your neon sign. To capture details in the darkness, you will need to increase the ISO.
  3. Manually adjust white balance. Neon emits bright and unnatural colors. To capture the true glow from your neon sign’s neon sign, manually adjust your camera’s white balance to get the best results.
  4. Shooting RAW: Photographing at night involves balancing very dark and light areas. This can be challenging to do in-camera. RAW captures more information that can be used to enhance your photos or make them look professional.

Use a variety of photography techniques for fun effects in your custom neon sign photography. You can add additional elements to your photos, such as models or reflective surfaces, once you are comfortable with your camera settings.

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