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How to Take Pictures in Black Light

Things You'll Need:

  • Shutter speed controlled camera
  • Tripod
  • Black light
  • UV filter
  • Flashlight

If you enjoy photography, then try to take pictures in black light. Humans cannot see black light when it fills a room, but we are capable of seeing the light when it hits white or neon colors. By controlling the shutter speed on the camera, it is possible to capture the essence of an illuminated object under a black light. Black light photography is becoming more popular. People tend to take more black light pictures during Halloween, due to the eerie glow that the black light emits off white objects. You will need to know basic information about your camera before attempting to take a picture under a black light.

Place your camera on a tripod. You can also place your camera on a flat surface, but ensure that the camera is safe and level.

Focus your camera on the subject. Once you focus on your subject, turn the black light on and the room lights off.

Apply the UV filter to the camera. If you are using a digital camera, you can select a UV filter in the cameras image options. Once you attach the UV filter, set the shutter speed to at least eight seconds. The shutter speed may need to be adjusted. It is important to take multiple pictures at different shutter speeds to know which speed works best for your camera.

Finish adjusting your camera. The aperture needs to be around a 5.6, and the film speed will need to be set to either 100 or 200. This is all dependent on the type and quality of your camera. Continue to make adjustments as needed during the shoot. A camera with film will require that you to shoot at different exposure levels, since you will not be able to see the results instantly.

Adjust your subject to the black light. Black light will only reflect off white or neon colors. If the subject has any shadows or dark areas that you want to show up in your photograph, you will need to use flashlights or glow sticks to make them appear.


When adding additional light to your subject, try to place it close enough to the subject to ensure that all areas show up in the photograph. However, you do not want to place the light too far away to illuminate the surrounding area.

If your camera cannot focus on the subject under the black light, add additional white light to the subject in order to make your camera recognize the object as a focal point.

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