I am in charge of taking pictures of all of our products for our website.

The new collections (clothing) are going to have a lot of fluorescent/neon colors.

I have a small studio with a Sony alpha a550 camera: I am already shooting in raw and for photo processing I have Photoshop Elements 9.

How can I get a realistic representation of these colors?

What are the best techniques to capture in camera, and then to process with PSE9, this kind of products?

Here is an example: the stripes should be fluorescent/neon, but they don't look like that on the picture. example

  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you tried yet? are you getting bad results? can we see? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2012 at 6:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Key element: RGB Histogram, florescent colors are prone to blowing out without it being obvious in the image. \$\endgroup\$
    – Phil
    Sep 1, 2012 at 6:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Phil - can you reference a tutorial on histograms for the OP - they can be very hard to understand. - Also i would add that using a light source containing UV such as natural sunlight will allow the material to flouress fully, as tungsten light can make them look very flat. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2012 at 7:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ i added an example. this is the bast we get untill now \$\endgroup\$
    – Ronny
    Sep 1, 2012 at 7:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Calibrating your monitor is highly desirable. Start with Spyder brand - Lots of references A look through their range will show a cross section of what is offered and articles on monitor calibration by other manufacturers and means. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 1, 2012 at 7:10

1 Answer 1


The key is to start with the right lighting—you need to make the colours fluoresce, and for that you need something that gives off a significant amount of ultraviolet light. Without a UV source—if you use tungsten light or a UV-filtered daylight source, all you'll get is the reflective colours. You need the colours these dyes and pigments emit when they absorb UV.

As Phil points out in the comments, the emitted colour may overwhelm the sensor. Keeping the UV source secondary (say, a black light bulb or tube you can move toward or away from the subject independently of the visible light source) should allow you to balance the reflected and emitted light satisfactorily. You do want the colour exaggerated, but you don't want to lose all of the detail in the process.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Take multiple shots with and without the UV light being triggered. Then you can use the difference to perform masking in post and tweak the colors exactly how you want (within the confines of displayable color spaces, which are not optimal for fluorescent). \$\endgroup\$
    – Skaperen
    Sep 1, 2012 at 21:05

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