Exercise 2: Artificial Light



For this exercise we had to capture ‘the beauty of artificial light’ in a short sequence of shots.

I decided to shoot neon signs in the Claremont Pier’s beach bar, ‘Piranha Joes’. I had noticed them when I had taken my youngest in there for a break out of the sun.

The chosen images were placed in a grid because they formed a much stronger composition when compared to viewing them individually or within a line. I was able to look at shapes, lines and forms to place the images into specific places within the grids to emphasise them as well as to encourage the viewers eye to move around the grid.

Contact Sheet


  • Lens: 14-42mm (28-84mm, 35mm equivalent)
  • ISO: 1000
  • Exposure: Manual
  • W.B. Auto
  • File Type: RAW and jpeg

The Shoot

The shoot itself was quite a straight forward one. All of the neon signs that I had wanted to access were all hung on one wall. To approach the different signage, I decided to shoot at different angles and mainly close to them. By taking photographs at the viewpoints that I had specifically chosen, I found that the nearer I shot the images, the more abstract the finished images became.

If we look at ‘Blue beer’ below for instance, I was able to dramatically focus more on shapes and lines. For me this was very pleasing as the signs could be represented far more creatively than if i shot them straight on and further away.

I approached both of the neon signs below differently. With ‘Blue Beer’ I shot as close as I was able without causing any out of focus areas. In contrast, ‘Gold Captain Morgan’, although shot at angles, was taking a step away so that the sign detail was more visible and more informative to the eye.

The completed grids can be seen below.

Image 1: Blue Beer
Image : Gold Captain Morgan


The difference between daylight and artificial light varies considerably. The natural daylight source is constantly changing, such as in strength, direction, colour and hue.

Artificial light is static, in that it is a source that emanates from a specific fixed spot. The strength of the light from an artificial source is also constant depending on the gas or bulb watts or lumens measurements.

The time of day alters how we perceive the neon signs colours. In the daylight the colours are washed out and not as vibrant, they also change depending on the lights temperature and strength. The combination of different daylight colours and neon lights remind me of when I am shading with pencils or painting with watercolours and the colours combine into different hues, it is unpredictable and can only be tamed by man’s use of equipment and camera settings.

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