Six great tips for creating freakishly awesome UV photography

Jul 5, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Six great tips for creating freakishly awesome UV photography

Jul 5, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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A few weeks ago, the folks from the Cooperative of Photography brought us an excellent video on taking our photography to the next level. One of the projects highlighted in that video was on UV photography. Starting simple and building it up to produce something amazing.

This time, the Cooperative are back with photographer Markus Berger and some amazing practical tips that will definitely help to take your UV photography to that next level they were talking about.

YouTube video

The great thing about UV photography, at least this kind of UV photography, is that you don’t need any special kind of camera, or sensor conversion, like you do with infrared. There are also a whole bunch of different lighting options out there for all budgets to get you started.

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But whether you use a simple UV flashlight, a CCFL lamp, or a UV flash strobe, the tips and tricks shown in the video offer some great ideas for shooting with UV.

  1. UV Makeup. Hair, lipstick, nails, and more can all add interest and unique colour.
  2. Glowing cocktails. Fluorescein will dye liquids to give them a glow under UV.
  3. UV Bubbles. This one was my favourite from the video, and goes great with the model’s makeup.
  4. UV Wool. Whether hung up to make a web, wrapped around your subject, or knitted into a garment, it looks pretty surreal.
  5. UV holi powder. Yes, it’s even cooler than regular holi powder.
  6. Glowing hair. Dipping hair into a tub of water dyed with Fluorescein makes for some pretty cool results, especially with UV flash.

So, why not give it a go on your next shoot?

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This one’s definitely my favourite.

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Have you had a go at UV photography? Do you shoot it regularly? If you haven’t are you thinking about giving it a try? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.  Images used with permission.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “Six great tips for creating freakishly awesome UV photography”

  1. fotografenpunk Avatar
    fotografenpunk

    I would love to try that!

  2. Cesar Sales Avatar
    Cesar Sales

    Just to be clear, this is considered “UV fluorescence” photography: visible light created by the fluorescence of particles. True UV photography, in the range of 300-400 nanometers, DOES require camera conversion and special lenses and filters. It is actually much more difficult than IR photography. See http://www.ultravioletphotography.com for more.