Photo Tip #201: Get the Neon Look Without Post-Production

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If you’re a person who likes the neon look, then you should know the truth: you can use almost any colored light out there. The only thing you need to do is change your white balance. That’s it. You won’t need to do post-production. And you won’t need to retouch your wonderful model. All you need to do is wisen up and tweak a single setting for the neon look. If you look at lots of these images, you’ll realize they’re mostly around the same white balances. And trust us, it’s super easy to get this done.

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Want the Neon Look in Your Portraits? Here Are Budget Friendly Tips

You don’t need a fancy studio setup to give those colorful portraits a shot, as today’s quick video tutorial shows.

Ever wanted to give those colorful neon portraits a try, but feel intimidated by all the studio equipment you think you need? You can actually give it a go with a budget setup right in your home or creative space, and just pour a lot of creativity into it, as Tajreen and Chloe show us in one of their latest videos.

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Stefano Gardel Imagines a Cyberpunk Neon Future in Japan

All photos by Stefano Gardel. Used with Creative Commons permission.

The neon trend may not garner the same interest it once did: we can’t blame those who think this trend has become overdone. But with the right idea and great execution, it can still net some really interesting work. Case in point is the cyberpunk imagery largely inspired by movies like Blade Runner. We’ve seen some really impressive ones in the past and we’re glad to add one more to the list. This time, it’s a re-imagining of Japan by Swiss fine art photographer Stefano Gardel.

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Seeing Double with Louis Dazy and His “Neon Life”

All photos by Louis Dazy. Used with Creative Commons permission.

When it comes to double exposures, Paris-based Louis Dazy is among the photographers to pay attention to. With an impressive portfolio shot exclusively on film, he has been best known for his nostalgic and colorful juxtapositions of everyday life and neon signs. If you’ve been shooting film for some time, you’ve likely already come across his work. Otherwise, we think his Neon Life series will get you inspired to give double exposures a go, whether with film or digital.

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Ekaterina Busygina Imagines the Urban Geometry of Hong Kong in Neon

All photos by Ekaterina Busygina. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Without a doubt, Hong Kong is home to stunning architectural wonders, a number of which continue to be the subject of architectural and street photographers. Moscow-based Ekaterina Busygina is one of these photographers. One of her more curious-looking works set in the city explores the idea of its urban geometry set against a neon wonderland. One can say it’s inevitable given that the city is already famed for its neon signs, but perhaps these shapes and patterns have never been painted dripping in neon in this manner before.

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Double Exposure Blends Nordic Nature and Hong Kong in “Neonland”

Double exposure remains a powerful technique for creative portrait work, but Christoffer Relander shows us that it also works great for juxtaposing vastly different locations.

When it comes to creative photography techniques, double exposure (and even multiple exposures) remains a favorite of experimental photographers. As we’ve previously seen in the works of Christoffer Relander, it’s perfect for creating dreamy silhouette portraits whether in color or black and white. If you’re wondering what else can be done with this technique, the Finland-based fine art photographer has yet another impressive example; juxtaposing two locations that are immensely different from each other in every way.

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Futurism, Zine Culture, Neons Top Shutterstock Creative Trends for 2019

Shutterstock reveals a fascinating assortment of visual trends and unique styles that are in store for us this 2019.

Need some insights on the biggest creative trends to help with your upcoming projects? Shutterstock’s Creative Trend Report for this year is now out, and it has some pretty interesting predictions on the ideas, styles, and concepts that are set to shape this year’s creative projects. While a lot of these seem to lean more for design work, marketing campaigns, and visual art, we’re sure some photographers and multi-disciplinary creatives will find them nonetheless useful and inspiring.

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How Hong Kong’s Fading Neon Lights May Change the Way Photographers Capture the City

With Hong Kong’s iconic neon signs steadily disappearing in recent years, the city’s nightscapes have started to take on a different glow. Here’s what it could mean for photographers who are keen on documenting what’s left of it. 

Every city has its own landmarks and icons. For Hong Kong, among these are its neon lights. They don’t only light up the city’s bustling commercial centers, but have also been inspirational to creatives of various disciplines around the world. The vivid neon glow of the city was instrumental for both the iconic films of Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-Wai, and the futuristic imagery of cyberpunk classics like Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell. It is also constantly explored by photographers of all genres and visual styles, some of which you’ve seen us feature here. But with the steady decline of the artful neon signs, will these creatives — photographers, especially — also change the way they see and capture the city?

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Creating the Photograph: Pauleth Ip’s “Dying of the Neon Light”

Creating the Photograph is an original series where photographers teach you about how they conceived an image, shot it, and edited it. The series has a heavy emphasis on teaching readers how to light. Want to be featured? Email chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com.

As working photographers, oftentimes we’re essentially guns for hire, executing concepts assigned to us from art directors, companies, or private clients. We may have creative input, but ultimately, the concept still belongs to someone else. This is why I feel it’s important to pursue personal projects whenever possible between paying assignments, as they play an integral part in our growth as photographers. Personal projects allow us to exercise our own creativity, and affords us opportunities to try new techniques and pursue creative visions without the burden of success. As the old adage goes, we learn more from our failures than our successes, so fail, and fail often, but fail on your own time and learn from your experiences.

This is why I started this personal project.

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See the Quirky, Neon-Lit Promotional Posters for MTV India’s “Dating in the Dark”

All images by Saif R. and Megha Singha. Used with Creative Commons permission.

MTV India’s Dating in the Dark is exactly what it says on the tin. Nothing says “love is blind” more than actually meeting the potential love of your life (or at least, your next romantic pursuit) in the, well, dark, doesn’t it?

Dating in the Dark is a reality dating show that places a small group of three guys and three girls inside one house to have group and one-on-one dates under the cover of darkness, all with the goal of getting to know each other better.

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19 Tones’ “Neon H-ART” Showcases Hong Kong’s Cinematic Nighttime Glow

All images by 19 Tones. Used with Creative Commons permission.

A trip to Hong Kong isn’t complete without spending at least one night out in the streets to photograph its iconic, vibrant neon lights. Though the number of actual neon signboards steadily decreases as days go by, the city doesn’t get any dimmer. To this day, they continue to inspire awe among those that see them.

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Elsa Bleda’s “Chinatown” Glows an Eerie Neon at Midnight

All images by Elsa Bleda. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Cities bathed in neon glow is certainly one of our favorite approaches to street photography and the neon trend itself, and we’re sure we share this with a lot of our readers. Today, we’re adding one more beautiful set to the batch: Johannesburg-based Elsa Bleda’s surreal snaps of her city’s Chinatown gleaming in eerie neon at midnight. If you’re looking for some inspiration for cityscapes or capturing your town’s very own Chinatown, this set would be an instant starting point.

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Steve Roe Turns Streets Into Trippy Neon Wonderlands Using Fractal Prisms

All images by Steve Roe. Used with permission.

There may be no signs of the neon trend going away anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean we have to keep shooting the same looks over and over. The latest on our roster of photographers who are creating some interesting stuff with this trend is South Korea-based Steve Roe, who found a way to make neon extra trippy by combining it with kaleidoscopic prism effects.

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Matthew Guido Gives the Neon Trend a “Nightmare” Treatment

All images by Mathew Guido. Used with Creative Commons permission.

The neon trend may be one of the most overused visual styles or aesthetics today, but that doesn’t mean it should be avoided altogether. If you can re-imagine and reinvent it to suit your own creative vision or style, then make good use of it by all means! To inspire and give you an idea on how to go about this, just look at this mesmerizing example by Toronto-based photographer Mathew Guido.

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Xavier Portela Paints Famous Cities with Hypnotic Neon “Glow”

All images by Xavier Portela. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Think your night photography could use some splashes of color? For today’s photography inspiration, we bring you the vibrant cityscapes of Brussels-based Xavier Portela, who sees and bathes cities around the world in neon hues. If vibrant colors and unique takes on photographing cities at night often catch your attention, you will surely enjoy his ongoing project.

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Slava Semeniuta Captures Puddles of Color in “Wet Neon”

All images by Slava Semeniuta. Used with Creative Commons permission.

If you think you love colors, you probably don’t like them as intense as Russian artist and photographer Slava Semeniuta wants them. This fascination for neon hues manifest in every creative project that he does. A fine example would be this brightly colorful street set aptly titled Wet Neon.

The idea may not exactly be a novel one, as photos of colorful puddle reflections are pretty common. However, while they are merely minor elements in  other photos, these colorful reflections take center stage in Wet Neon. They draw the eyes as they come in different shapes, blends, and combinations. The textures are a nice touch and added dimension. We know nothing about the surroundings that light up the wet pavements. This anonymity of some sort is not meant to be taken as a bid to be mysterious. The goal is to keep the viewer focused on the colors.

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Elizaveta Porodina’s “Neon Night” is a Dreamy, Blade Runner-Inspired Masterpiece

All images by Elizaveta Porodina. Used with Creative Commons permission.

If anyone in Blade Runner’s dystopian Los Angeles did a fashion shoot, the photos would most likely look like these. That was the first thing that came to mind the moment I saw Neon Night, one of Elizaveta Porodina’s many recent sets. It’s another clear example of outstanding photography from the Munich-based fashion and fine art photographer who I’m sure many people are also following.

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Matthieu Bühler Takes Us to a Dreamy Stroll Around Neon Tokyo

All images by Matthieu Bühler. Used with Creative Commons permission.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Japan is a paradise for photographers. It’s not just because of the latest and greatest in photography gear, however. Its cities are full of character that make them distinct, memorable, and certainly picture-perfect. Tokyo-based graphic designer and photographer Matthieu Bühler shows us how the capital alone makes for a dreamy street photography location in his beautiful set called Neon Dreams.

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Stone Zhu: Fantastic Neon Studio Portraiture

All images by Stone Zhu. Used with permission.

My name is Stone Zhu. Growing up in China, my sense of self as well as my aesthetics were deeply informed by traditional culture, values and art. Culturally we are meditative, introspective, modest, and moody. Strong reds, blacks, and whites fill our artwork, architecture, and sculpture. In traditional painting emptiness is highly regarded and the image is often constrained to the edges of the picture.

In contrast, my experience of Western culture has revealed a frenetic, open, and random quality that is foreign to my sensibilities. The body is regarded with sensuality, idealism, and erotic fantasy. My photographic practice has become a blend of these disparate and distinct cultures. The formal qualities of Chinese art are boldly present while, at the same time, I have felt more able to explore my fascination with the body as an object of beauty and desire.

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Stefano Gardel’s Neon Deserts Look Like an Alien Movie

All images by Stefano Gardel. Used with Creative Commons Permission.

There are very few things that captivate landscape photographers like the sunset; and Stefano Gardel has captured that pretty perfectly in his series “Neon Deserts.” The series, which is shot out in deserts in California, has a haunting look to it. It’s very easy for a photographer or a viewer to imagine that someone or something would be moving about. But instead, that isn’t really the case. What you see in the compositions are loneliness and a harsh life.

Stefano’s photos are masterfully composed not only according to the traditional rules of compositions but also in terms of color. Neon Deserts features layer upon layer of color and tonality building from smooth textures onto the rough surface of the terrain. Additionally, the lighting tends to change rather dramatically as you get closer to the surface. The scenes are cropped in a way to seem almost cinematic–which is part of the appeal of the entire series. In fact, I almost expect them to be cinemagraphs.

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