LED Sign Blog

How to Photograph Your LED Sign in 5 Steps

Posted by Jesse Cameron on Jun 20, 2017 11:00:00 AM

How to Photograph Your LED Sign

Photographing your LED sign is not the easiest of tasks. It looks good in person, but you might not know exactly how to photograph your LED sign perfectly. Camera lenses don’t reflect and pick up light the way our eyes do and that’s why the some pictures don’t come out the way you hoped.

Here are some tips to on how to photograph your LED Sign to make the most attractive pictures.

Use The Right Camera Mode

Once you have a camera, look for the different modes on yours. The camera mode will make a huge difference in the quality of your photo. Look on your camera for the mode called “Shutter Priority Mode” or “Tv” or “S” mode on your camera. This will allow the correct amount of light to be let in to the camera lens to be able to handle the brightness of an LED sign. If this mode still doesn’t work for you, try putting it in “Manual Mode” or “M”. If you are in manual mode you are going to have to play around with the settings to get the correct photo. Once you get a feel for it you will have great looking photos.

Use ISO on Manual Mode

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Also know as your ISO, you are going to need to change how long you want your shutter to stay open. The longer that the shutter stays open the more light it lets in. When you are taking pictures of LED Signs you want the ISO number to be low so it lets in less light and giving you a crisper picture. The ISO setting you should start at is 100, which is usually the lowest. When you are shooting your LED Sign outdoors you can fluctuate the ISO number depending if the sign is in the shade, or the sun is in the background ect. However, when you are shooting LED signs outdoors do not go above 400. * This only applies to manual mode

Try Using A Slower Shutter Speed

Disclaimer: This tip only applies to manual mode

Shutter speed might be the most important thing to adjust on your camera before you take pictures of your LED sign. The most common problem that people have when taking a photo of their LED sign is having the sign look like it has lines going through it. To fix this, we have to match the LED signs refresh rate so that doesn’t happen. To fix this major issue we have to slow down the shutter speed. There are several recommendations for what exactly you should change your shutter speeds to. Start off by slowing the speed down to 1/15s. If that doesn’t help keep going down the line, 1/30s, 1/60s or 1/125s. If your camera allows 1/8 or 1/4s give those a try. You can try all the speeds and see what one works best for you. Lastly, you need to have the camera steady because of the slow shutter speeds. If you don’t the pictures will not come out clear, so use a tri-pod or steady surface for best results.

Using F-Stop Improve Image Quality

Disclaimer: This tip only applies to manual mode

The f-stop will allow the image sensor to control the level of light that can come in. Considering when you are shooting LED signs you are going to have a low shutter speed, as we discussed earlier, so you are going to need a higher f-stop. Go ahead and set your camera to the highest f-stop function and gage if it meets your standards, if it doesn’t decrease the f-stop as you wish. Having a higher f-stop with a low shutter speed will keep the photos clear and less likely to be washed out.

Take Pictures of Your LED Sign With a Cell Phone

M-_Marketing_Photos_Visual_LED-Displays_Applications_Full-Color_Royal-Oak-Lafayette-Parking-Structure_IMG_0054a-3.pngThere is a debate about using cell phones for pictures of your LED sign, but in my opinion I find cell phones to work fairly well. However, if you were planning on using these pictures for a publication or a cover photo on your website, I would suggest not using your cell phone. I use my cell phone as a last option and to give you an example, here is one I took of Electro-Matic Visual’s LED sign in Royal Oak, Michigan. It came out decently well, but it took several efforts and the correct conditions to get this result. In short, it is best to use at the minimum a digital camera.

Other Factors to Keep in Mind

Photograph Your LED Sign witha strong focus on what's in the background

Don't ignore the backgorund when photographing your LED Sign.

  1. Make sure that you check your background. Don’t have anything unattractive about the background to distract your photo of your LED Sign.
  2. If it is in your control, have quality, full color x on your LED display and great content. Great content makes your sign much more appealing.
  3. Take a lot of photos: the more options that you have the better your end result will be.
  4. Make sure the sun isn’t directly coming from the background and into your camera lens. However, sometimes a nice sunset will create a very attractive photo without taking away from the quality of your LED sign.

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