9 creative photo ideas to try in January

Creative photo ideas for January: 07 Shoot a winter portrait

Creative photo ideas for January: 04 Shoot in ultraviolet

Creative photo ideas for January: 04 Shoot in ultraviolet

Also known as blacklights, ultraviolet lights aren’t just the preserve of school discos and weekend raves: they can also be used to create glow-in-the-dark portraits. You don’t need to add any special filters to the lens to enhance the effect, although you will need to increase the ISO, as the output from these lights is very low.

Manually set a sensitivity of ISO 1,600 to start with, then take a range of test exposures, reviewing the results on the rear screen and making adjustments as necessary. It’s likely that you’ll still be working at slow shutter speeds, so use a tripod and ask your model to find a pose that they can hold still.

You’ll need to experiment with the choice of clothing for your model. Different materials react differently under UV light, but white man-made fibres are a good starting point.

For an added splash of colour, try using neon paint that will glow under a blacklight. Make sure that it’s the non-toxic, water-based variety, and ask your model to apply a small bit first to ensure their skin doesn’t have an adverse reaction.

SEE MORE: Color Theory – the best color combinations for photography and how to take it further

You tend to get what you pay for with body paint: cheaper stuff requires more applications to achieve a good density of colour.

If you’re bitten by the UV bug, you should consider buying a flashgun that has been professionally modified to become a UV source.

Although they’re more expensive, a flashgun is more powerful than a continuous UV lamp, enabling you to use high-speed photography techniques and capture more detail in your subjects.

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* Fluorescent UV dark tube lights can be picked up for approximately £20 from the likes of Maplin (www.maplin.co.uk) and Amazon. You can get hold of blacklight bulbs, which can be fitted to an existing lamp, for around £5.
* More than one lamp will give you flexibility.
* The closer you position the lamps to the model, the greater the glow effect.
* Once everything is in place, you need to switch off the room light to ensure complete darkness, and make your test shots to find the best exposure.
* Make sure you focus on the model’s eyes. If your camera struggles to find focus, use a small torch to gently illuminate the model’s face. (Don’t aim it directly at their eyes!)
* Your UV photo session doesn’t have to start and end with portraits. It’s great fun to discover household objects that come alive under UV light, such as soft drinks that contain quinine.

Creative photo ideas for January: 01 Shoot a vertorama
Creative photo ideas for January: 02 Shoot a vibrant abstract photo
Creative photo ideas for January: 03 Shoot tropical fish
Creative photo ideas for January: 04 Shoot in ultraviolet
Creative photo ideas for January: 05 Shoot frost in spectacular detail
Creative photo ideas for January: 06 Shoot a split-frame landscape
Creative photo ideas for January: 07 Shoot a winter portrait
Creative photo ideas for January: 08 Shoot animals in action
Creative photo ideas for January: 09 Revisit your old photos

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