3 Tips And Tricks For Photographing Neon Signs – 2024 Guide

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Photography is an art. Highly underrated yet so loved, photography lets you enter a world of its own, with a story unique and true to itself. What started off as saving moments in memory alone, photography has largely allowed us to be able to freeze time and moments on a piece of film.

Photographs don’t only capture singular moments, they also capture stories and narratives. Photos have been used as references for various excerpts and interpretations. It is largely underrated and is not as simple as people think it is.

Most of the ones that do not really know about photography think it basically rests in one click of the camera. They couldn’t be more wrong about it. For the ones that really know what photography is and take joy into taking pictures know for real that it takes a lot of work that goes largely underappreciated. Getting the perfect photo is very hard.

There are a lot of determinants and factors that can change the way that we view the quality of photos. Lighting, angles, ISO settings and other things can largely determine how well the picture can come out. Therefore, it is important that someone guides you if it’s your first time doing so.

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In this article, we’ll talk about what neon lights are, how to photograph them and a few other details which we’ll get into later on. With that being said, without further ado, let’s get into this!

What Is Photography?

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It’s an art form. It captures memories, it records history, it’s a way of capturing a scene, and so on.

Of course, it’s all of these things but essentially photography is to capture light. Photography is a science, it was invented by scientists, not artists.

You need to learn the science or craft of photography, then you get creative with that knowledge. I can tell you now, you might get that lucky shot, but you won’t be able to be consistently good or consistently creative without that full control over the science of photography.

Here’s my answer to the big question of what photography is! I’m sure that many of you have different views on that, if you have put them in the comments below and discuss it with fellow learning photographers. There actually is no wrong or right answer to that question. That’s why I find it a great one to discuss in my lessons.

Photography Mistakes

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The first mistake that we see all of the time and that is wonky horizons. Now it may not be obvious at first but when you review your images afterwards and once you spot it you can’t help but not spot it anymore. So many people are taking pictures, and they’re not aware of how wonky they may be taking those.

So first and foremost, make sure you have your horizon dead straight across the center of your image. Otherwise you can always fix it in your editing software such as in Photoshop or in Lightroom. Wonkiness is really easy to spot once you go looking for it. If you find yourself notoriously bad with wonky horizons then maybe some extra tips you can take to improve that is to take your time with things, use two hands on the camera and steady yourself with a steady posture.

In fact, most cameras will actually have a gyroscope built in and you should be able to enable it on both the viewfinder and on the screen, so you can keep those steady. Particularly if you’re shooting with a tripod you’ve really got no excuse.

So my second mistake that we see quite commonly is a complete misunderstanding of white balance. Now white balance is the metering that you set in your camera to set the color temperature of your images. Now the color temperature comes from your main light source.

That could either be the sunlight or it could be a tungsten light, or it could be a fluorescent bulb, something like that. So you need to set the white balance on your camera – the main source of light that way you’ll get truly accurate whites and colors.

How To Photograph Neon Lights

Tip number one

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Is that you should scout. This is very important because you might think you’re able to just go outside late at night, able to find different neon signs. However sometimes it’s harder than it seems. That it might take up more time looking for these signs than you think.

So it’s really important that you do your homework. You do your research before you go out. This way you don’t waste time searching for the outside. What’s really good is that you can go on google, Instagram, YouTube and define where all the prime photographers are.

Go shoot the neon signs in your location whatever city you’re in. So do your homework to save time.

Tip number two

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Use your phone. There’s this thing in our pocket that we carry with us most of the time of the day. It depends on how you use it. You just put it in front of the camera lens vertically and it creates a really cool reflection, really unique, really unpredictable colors or patterns make sure to give it a try. So number two is to use your phone.

Tip number three

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Stand in one position and take many shots. It feels as though a lot of times that we just stand there and take pictures. Those who stand in the same position take pictures and normally get a similar shot to the rest. The truth is as you do this, you get to see more colors, especially on a rainy day. You get the reflection off the ground, which is really cool.