Home photography ideas: Blacklight Neon body paint portraits.

Create hot glowing portraits using a combination of ultraviolet light and neon body paint.

Blacklight photography involves shooting a topic under ultraviolet . To the attention this type of illumination appears to emit little or no light. That’s because the bluish UV light is at the bounds of the color spectrum and far of the output is invisible.

However, the ultraviolet can cause white or neon colors to supply light , giving it a glow that appears great when used with body painting. In a perfect world, you will be ready to work with a model and a makeup artist – but with a willing member of your household, you’ll achieve great results reception .

Just as you don’t necessarily got to spend lots on models and MUAs, you do not need to distribute on expensive kit either. The body paint costs just a couple of bucks, and you’ll buy UV lights or bulbs online for little or no . Then all you would like may be a willing subject, a paintbrush and a dark space to urge creative in.

The main challenge is to beat the low light, so all the standard low-light techniques are available to play. We may have to use a high ISO, an extended exposure, a tripod, a good aperture – or a mixture of all of those – to beat the matter of crafting a usable exposure in low light.

We’ll explain how it’s done here, from setting the scene and camera, to applying the stunning glowing paint to our subject!

Blacklight portraits

01. UV light


Ultraviolet light causes the pigments in phosphorescent paint to glow. We used two UV LED battens to illuminate our paints and subject, which were hired from a celebration company. Cheaper ultraviolet lights and bulbs are available online, too.

02. Body paint


Phosphorescent body paint are often bought online (search for UV Body Paint). also as normal paints, you’ll also find mascara, nail polish toiletry and more. The brand that we used and recommend is Moon Glow body paint.

03. Tripod


UV lights typically have quite low output, so you would possibly got to lower your shutter speed so as to urge a usable shot. A tripod or monopod allows you to drop your shutter speed down as low as 1/30 sec – shooting any slower increases the danger of motion blur in your subject.

04. Camera


A camera with decent low-light performance enables you to capture usable shots at high ISOs – often necessary when shooting under the low output of UV lighting. A lens with a good maximum aperture is additionally helpful in low light – the simplest portraits lenses tend to possess fast apertures are ideal.

05. Still poses


Motion blur are often a drag in low light. It’s caused either by camera shake or movement within the subject during the exposure. Ask your subject to undertake to remain still while you’re taking the image , and fire off two or three frames at a time.

06. Coverage


It’s an honest idea to hide the ground and your makeup area with tarps or old towels in order that they don’t get splashed with paint. And, like any shoot where the topic are going to be partially unclothed, make sure the environment is comfortable.

Body painting.


01 The makeup

It’s best to use the UV paints under the UV light, so you get a thought of how the paint will look. Our makeup artist, Amelia, used a spread of drips, splashes and strokes. A hairdryer comes in handy for quickly drying out the paint after it’s been applied to skin.

02 Safety glasses

Ultraviolet light are often damaging to the eyes, especially as we don’t experience discomfort when looking directly at UV sources. Constant exposure can cause permanent damage, so our model, Bou, wore UV-blocking glasses during makeup.

03 Speckled paint

A speckled paint effect can look great and is straightforward to try to to , even for a novice body painter – simply flick a paintbrush together with your finger, then build it up with different colors. an excessive amount of paint are often overpowering, so confirm that you simply leave empty areas also .

04 Fake lashes.

Eyes can begin as rather disturbing black holes in UV portraits, so fake lashes painted with UV mascara are often an honest look – especially if you ask the topic to seem down. We painted the lashes with the UV paints (allowing time to allow them to dry before the shoot).

Shooting in low light


01 Lens and settings.

In a controlled setup it’s best to use manual exposure mode. We set 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO1250. If you don’t want to use manual, try aperture priority with a high ISO and wide aperture, and dial in negative exposure compensation if necessary. As noted, use a camera lens consistent with your needs and space – an 85mm is ideal for headshots, while a 50mm will suit wider torso shots.

02 Precise focusing.

When employing a wide aperture the depth of field is extremely shallow, so precise focusing is crucial. Use the main target grid in your viewfinder to maneuver the main target point over the attention that’s closest to the camera – or during this case the closest huge fake eyelash!

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