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UV Photography: The Ultimate Guide For Beginners

UV photography is a fun and interesting technique that can be used to create stunning images. It uses the UV light of the sun as a source for its light source, making it possible to capture photos that have an otherworldly quality. Read our latest article to learn more about what it is and how to shoot photos leveraging UV lighting.

What is ultraviolet photography?

Ultraviolet photography is a type of photography that uses ultraviolet light to capture pictures. It is often used to photograph objects that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye, such as the nucleus of a cell.

How Does UV Photography Work?

UV photography works by exposing a photo to ultraviolet light. UV light is a form of light that is invisible to the human eye, but not to a digital camera. UV light is only visible to the naked eye when it is filtered through a lens.

UV photography uses high-intensity UV lights to illuminate flowers, which then appear to be quite different than we know them.

This technique requires only UV light to pass and illuminate the flowers.

It’s important to work in as dark environment as possible.

UV photographs can be taken in a number of ways, including with film and digital cameras, and through special filters.

Some businesses use UV photography to create customized marketing materials, such as brochures and billboards.

UV photography can be dangerous if not done correctly – it can cause skin cancer or other eye injuries if exposed to the sun’s rays for an extended period of time.

Do cameras capture UV light?

cameras are sensitive to UV light, but modern analog camera lenses hold filters that block out light from parts of the spectrum.

To capture images using UV light, a digital camera needs to be converted first.

A special transmitting filter is usually placed in front of the camera’s lens which allows UV light to pass through while absorbing, or blocking out visible and infrared light.

What do I need for UV photography?

UV photography requires a UV light. The light is used to illuminate the subject with UV light.

It requires a considerable determination, time and money to obtain the necessary equipment.

Below we’ll explore the different types of equipment you’ll need to shoot photos using UV light:

Preferred Camera

A camera with a UV or IR filter is necessary for making photos. The only alternative to this would be the use of an ultraviolet lamp, which can produce some interesting effects but would require a UV-transparent film or filter.

The Right Filter

A UV filter is used to protect the lens from dust and scratches as well as infrared light. Beyond this, it can help reduce haze, reflections and ghosting caused by ultraviolet rays.

best Lenses

Lenses are one of the most important things to consider when starting out in UV photography. As with any type of photography, you can use different lenses for different purposes and effects.

The most common lens to use with UV photography is a telephoto lens. This type of lens will allow you to take close-up shots and can be great for photographing insects, plants, or even people.

Lenses are rated by the “f-stop” they use. The f-stop is a measurement of how much light can come through your lens once it has been focused on whatever object you are taking a picture of. The lower the f-stop, the more light can come through your lens and onto your camera’s sensor.

You will also need to consider what kind of film you will be using. If you are only interested in taking UV photographs of plants and insects, then any type of film will work just fine. However, if you want to take pictures of people, then you will need to use film that is specifically designed for this purpose.

optimal Lighting

In order to achieve the effects of UV photography, you need a light source that emits ultraviolet radiation. This can be achieved by using mercury-vapor lamps or black lights. The latter is more common, because it is more economical, produces less heat and doesn’t require a high voltage.

The black light isn’t just used to take UV images – they’re also popular in clubs for their psychedelic effect. The light appears to be brighter than normal, and colors appear more intense when they’re illuminated by a black light.

Black lights are also used in fluorescence microscopy for biological research.

How Do You Take UV Photos?

To take UV photos, you need to use UV-sensitive film or a digital camera with an ultraviolet filter.

You can capture landscapes, portrait sessions, and street photography with UV photography.

It is important to use a white balance to correct color casts in your photos.

The sun provides ultraviolet light, so you can take photos with a flash or blacklight tube as a source of UV radiation.

You can also take photos using black light tubes, but you’ll have better results if you use a flash.

What to photograph under ultraviolet light

To photograph objects under ultraviolet light, you’ll need a UV filter and a camera with a lens that can capture ultraviolet radiation.

You can use the ultraviolet radiation to reveal details not visible under other forms of light.

Images taken with ultraviolet photography may be used for scientific purposes, medical diagnosis, or artistic expression.

Below are some common examples of subjects that you can leverage when shooting UV photos:


Under UV light, plants may look more yellow than they do in the sunlight because the blue and violet wavelengths are absorbed by water molecules in chlorophyll.


Insects such as the housefly and the mosquito are very attracted to UV light and make for perfect subjects to shoot.

Fluorescent Objects

Under UV light, fluorescent objects will fluoresce brightly because ultraviolet wavelengths are absorbed by the phosphors in the fluorescent objects.


Diamonds fluoresce under UV light because of their high refractive index, which causes them to reflect more ultraviolet wavelengths than they absorb.


Minerals will fluoresce under UV light because of their high refractive index, which causes them to reflect more ultraviolet wavelengths than they absorb.


Gemstones such as emeralds, rubies, and sapphires will fluoresce under UV light because of their high refractive index, which causes them to reflect more ultraviolet wavelengths than they absorb.

7. Glass- glass will fluoresce under UV light because of its high refractive index, which causes it to reflect more ultraviolet wavelengths than it absorbs.

Lichens, mosses, and fungi

Lichens, mosses, and fungi can be brightly coloured and add splashes of colour to otherwise dull objects.

Lichens, mosses, and fungi can be used to support flowers in a photo shoot.

Lichens, mosses, and fungi can also be modified or repaired using tools such as a tripod and deep neural network models.

Seaweed and algae

Seaweed and algae are brightly coloured due to the variety of species present.

Seaweed and algae can be found along the coast, where the receding tide reveals them.

Large, stationary rocks that don’t get moved by waves generally have more variety in colours than those that do move.


Rocks fluoresce in different colors depending on their mineral content.

Some minerals glow brightly in UV light, which can be harmful.

Rocks can be used to identify location and type of mineral deposits.


Water can add splashes of interest to your images.

Areas where water drains can be rewarding places to photograph, since the moisture allows for a variety of mosses and algae to grow and the build-up of dissolved minerals can create interesting textures.

Objects under the water’s surface can also affect the colour of the glow, and create interesting effects in your images.

Household objects

Most household objects are not fluorescent, but some can be. Plastics and other synthetics will glow brightly under UV light due to the ultraviolet plasticizers they contain. Other common substances that fluoresce under UV light include paper, fabrics, and food.


A person’s skin will fluoresce under UV light. This is due to the fact that our entire body has a thin layer of dead cells on it, and these dead cells contain traces of fluorescent chemicals.

Technical aspects of UV photography

UV photography is a type of photography that records radiation outside the human visible range.

There is no “correct” white balance to display UV photographs, and different cameras may exhibit different colors depending on the color balance and other factors.

Monochromatic images are often produced when using a camera with a UV lens and illumination source, regardless of the subject.

White balance in UV photography

There is no one “correct” white balance for UV photography, and different cameras need to be calibrated using different WBs.

White balance can be set in two ways: with a specific UV-pass filter or with a reference white balance.

Sintered PTFE is a good choice for VIS and UV reflection targets in UV photography.

How do you take fluorescence photography?

Fluorescence photography is a special type of photography that can be used to capture images of molecules in action. The chemical reactions that occur in a fluorescent substance can be captured and viewed with a camera.

You need to use digital UV photography because you get to use Live View and focus without the filter.

To capture analogue UV photographs, you need to compose and focus the shot without the filter, and then place it back when you have your scene set.

Flash photography is often used to increase the intensity of UV light for photographing specimens.

UV torches and blacklight tubes produce a stronger light than a standard flash, making them ideal for photographing delicate or difficult-to-photograph specimens.

How to post-process UV photography

There are two different approaches you can take when post-processing UV photography:

Basic processing:

Ultraviolet photography does not require advanced skills in digital processing.

Basic white balance can be done on a grey chart to obtain a subtle purple/blue hue.

Black and white processing avoids the purple/blue hue and gives a silver effect and specific distribution of contrast.

Advanced processing:

While you can make minimal edits, sometimes you may need or desire to perform advanced post processing for your UV photos.

For static subjects, you can mix visible and ultraviolet shots together to create a single image, or you can use the same photo twice and blend them in Photoshop.

If you are using multiple exposures, it is best to keep your UV exposure as close to your visible exposure as possible.

If you are using a tripod, use the same one for both exposures. If you hand held your camera during the UV photo shoot, make sure to do so again