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    8 Mar 2018

    This DIY Neon Lighting Trick Is All You Need If You're Broke But Want Great Photos

    Might as well get a good selfie while you sit in front of your screen all day.

    When I saw this woman tweet her simple trick to creating a neon light glow for her photos, I thought, "Hmm, this can't be real?!" So I wanted to see if it really works.

    Turn off lights, make image full screen, search up a colour and you now have DIY neon lighting

    Arielle Stenner took three simple steps:

    1. Turn off lights

    2. Make image full screen

    3. Search up a colour (on Google)

    Then take the photo and – tada!! – an instant neon lighting effect.

    So I set up a screen in a windowless room in our office and tried it out.

    Here are snaps of the room lit by pin lights. Pretty shit shadows going on my face. You don't actually need a windowless room to make this happen. You can either wait until the sun sets or have blockout blinds.

    For this experiment I used the portrait mode both on the front and back cameras of the iPhone to give it that dreamy effect you get from neon lights.

    I sat two feet from the screen, positioned the phone slightly to the left, between myself and the screen, and also had the iMac on full brightness.

    Setting the browser window to full screen eliminates a lot of the white light that will wash out your colour of choice.

    I stupidly assumed the Google Image thumbnails alone would give me that blue glow, as with what Arielle Stenner screengrabbed in her tweet.

    Of course it didn't work.

    So I opened one of the images on another tab and...

    Tada!!! I'm blue. 😱 It works! Hoorah hoorah!

    I wasn't completely satisfied though. The light in her photos was solid, while mine looked very patchy. It was blue in some parts and washed out and even violet in others.

    So I downloaded the colour image and opened it as a slideshow in Preview, and it came out so much bluer! I looked like a Smurf, but that's exactly what we wanted!

    Opening the image as a slideshow removed all the white light completely and gave a deeper tint.

    I wanted to experiment with other colours to see which ones would look great on camera, so I tried pink.

    No, not that Pink. I wanted a magenta-kind-of hue.


    As you can see here, the iPhone portrait feature was really effective for this experiment. It gave the images a soft and dreamy look.

    My workmates thought it was cool and wanted their own photos.

    A word of warning, though — don't stare too long at the screen. Brad (left) and Rebecca (right) said they were still seeing weird colours well after our li'l photoshoot.

    I tried it with a gradient pink and yellow image, and it didn't work at first.

    I realised this was happening a lot when the camera would auto-white balance — I looked like I had a bad case of black and blue. So to get the best colour, I had to close the image window and open it again.

    The yellow and orange tints didn't work well either.

    I don't really have an explanation for this except that the phone camera didn't really pick up the colours as much. But it looked great as a warm, close-to-skin-tone effect.

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