OK, my name is not in lights literally, but I’m over on Moms Who Click today with an interview and a giveaway. If you would like to win a spot in the upcoming Find Your Eye series then click yourself right over there to enter! And of course, to learn a little more about me and my photography. Thanks so much to Kristina at Moms Who Click for inviting me to participate in their Behind the Lens series!
But back to our regularly scheduled programming… the Lights of Night.
I’ve been very much attracted to neon lights lately. After I ditched the tripod on Saturday morning, that’s what called to me. This was my favorite capture from the window of a local pizzeria. It tells a bit of a story, don’t you think?
I also shared one in the Exploring with a Camera: Lights of Night post from San Francisco earlier this year. I love the repetition of the neon signs in this one, and the detail you can just make out through the windows.
You’ll notice the last couple of days I’m adding the settings for the photos I share. I’ll do that all this week as I share night photos. I want you to get a feel for the settings I’m using to get effective images, so you can see what you might want to try if you are struggling.
Capturing neon signs can even more of a night photography challenge, because they are often so bright relative to their surroundings. I have discovered a few things about successfully photographing neon signs:
- It often works best when there is some ambient light behind the sign. If you are photographing a sign in a dark window, all you are going to get is the sign on a field of black. That might be what you are going for, but I find the sign with some context of what it is advertising is more interesting.
- It is easy to overexpose the neon sign relative to the rest of the frame and lose the color. Dial back your exposure so that most of the sign is not overexposed.
- It is ok for the brightest part of the neon to be overexposed as long as you don’t overexpose the whole thing. In the Pizza by the Slice image above, the center of the letters is overexposed and completely blown out. Can you tell? No, because there is enough color in the rest of the sign to blend in and provide the colorful neon glow.
Good luck! Be sure to share your night photography experiments in our Exploring with a Camera link up this month. Share the triumphs and the failures, it’s all good for learning. I’m happy to help you and answer questions if you are struggling, too. Just leave a comment.