Home photography ideas:Create that slick neon look using torches and acrylic rods, for a shot dripping with ’90s style

Light painting may be a good way to urge into long-exposure photography and exposes a world where we will control light and shape it to suit our needs. Most of the time we use a strong torch in low light or in the dark to visually paint a scene, with results often looking fantastical.

However, during this project we’re getting to place gelled torches in hollow plastic rods covered in translucent paper to make a light-weight wand that features heavily within the creation of the ultimate image.

The torch we’re using also features a stroboscopic effect built-in, so we’re using this to our advantage to mimic a method like 1980s film posters. consider films like Tron and therefore the Terminator, where the sleek neon colors are simultaneously retro and contemporary.

And with current TV shows like Stranger Things and modern music like synthwave harking back to the present style, this era hasn’t been as popular since… well, the since the Eighties.

So, with a soft-top car and our model kitted out like he’s a personality from Miami Vice, we’re getting to use the sunshine wand to make these ace effects in-camera – then polish off the colours in Photoshop afterward .

To get this wealthy will take tons of practice – and once you are doing have the technique nailed, it is so much fun that you’re going to want to stay on shooting! So let’s see how it’s done…

Feel it, calling in the air…


01 Gather your kit

We’re using two tactical military flashlights, with adjustable power and strobe settings, and we’ve taped pink and blue plastic over the ends. We also bought a few of hollow acrylic tubes from eBay and tucked the torches inside. Alternatively, while they do not strobe and they are not as powerful, you’ll also try an Icelight or a Yongnuo Light Wand (which even changes color!).

02 conclude the sunshine

We knew that the rod wouldn’t illuminate much if it had been clear, so we wrapped some paper around it to assist diffuse the illumination better, creating more definition. If you’ve got problems with flare coming from the highest of the rod, just cover it with some gaffer tape.

03 Use Bulb mode

Compose your scene to go away space within the frame around your subject – we’re employing a 24mm lens, but choose a good focal distance that suits your subject and scene. Now, here’s the key: set your camera to manual mode and adjust the command dial until your shutter speed reads Bulb. Now your exposure will last as long because the shutter release button is depressed.

04 Trigger the camera

With your camera on a tripod, you’ll need a lover to press the shutter release for you while you progress the sunshine rods around your subject. If you don’t have an additional pair of hands, grab a wireless remote shutter release to use while you dance the sunshine rods around.

05 Maximize your light

We used an aperture of f/2.8 to maximise the sunshine coming into the lens and bumped our ISO to 320 as we were getting underexposed images at ISO100 with the shutter speed on Bulb mode. We achieved around four to 6 seconds of exposure, but it varied whenever we shot.

06 Flashdance

Start on the left, then during the exposure move across, around and behind your subject; then ensure you’ve left the frame on the proper before doubling back, camera-right, to make a U shape. Starting and stopping like this ensures that light is on the front of your subject.

Amp it up in post


01 Remove distractions

Load your image into Photoshop CC and use the Patch tool (J) to draw around any unwanted light spots, then click and drag the chosen area over an unaffected little bit of your image. The Patch tool will match the feel of the dragged area and take away the unsightly spots.

02 Convert to a sensible object

Now we convert our layer to a sensible object to offer us some more options. Right-click on the layer and attend Convert to Smart Object, then head to Filter > Camera Raw Filter. Changes you create privately Raw are non-destructive, so you’ll adjust them later if you desire.

03 Every tweak you create

We started by increasing the Exposure by +0.3 to form the image a touch brighter. Then we lifted the Shadows with +20 to bring out some detail within the darker areas of the photo – which is particularly noticeable round the tires and grilles on the car.

04 Pour some light on me

With the Radial filter, draw a revolve around the themes . Under Effects tick Inside and hover over the drop pin to ascertain the masked area you’re affecting. Now to decorate the shot boost Exposure +1.5, lift Shadows +20 and drop Blacks -20 to stay contrast centralized within the frame.

05 Finish with a vignette

With the Radial filter, click ‘New’ at the highest of the toolbar on the proper and draw a wider selection. Now click Outside within the Effect section and dial in Exposure -0.6 to darken the sides .

06 Neon demons

Click the Hand icon (H) within the Camera Raw Filter window and you’ll see the essential panel on the proper . Add even more punch by upping the Vibrance and Clarity sliders to +10, which adds color without clipping.

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