City in Neon

I thought of focusing on neon lighting and displays a while back when I watched a really great film from Philip Bloom, the DSLR film maker, called “24 Hours of Neon”:

24 Hours of Neon from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

The film is about Las Vegas, but walking around the City after dark there is plenty of Neon signage. I could have focused this on the west end, and the likes of Ronnie Scott’s and the many dubious locations advertising in neon in soho. It would have been closer to the spirit of Philip Bloom’s film.


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But in all honesty, there is a facination for me in the more prosaic uses of neon, in advertising food, dry cleaning and the occasional pub.


One of the things I like about taking photos regularly is that it changes the way you look at the world. Bright, but not too bright days become your friend. You become unaturally irritated by grey days. You begin to notice what is around you more for it’s 3 by 2 or 4 by 3 composition and beauty. You curse the moments you fail to take a camera with you and you see a fragment of the amazing; and old car, a fantastic street event, an amazing building or market.


As part of the above I began to notice the beauty of simple neon signs such as these. At some point you’ll find a series like this here on my blog shot on slow shutter speed onto Velvia 100 on my new/old Contax G2. Then you’ll know I really have flipped! 😉


One thing I really noticed in shooting this is just how fast and accurate the X-pro1 AF is with the 35 and 60 mm lenses now. Let’s not get ridiculous. They are still relatively slow to AF. However, they are so much faster than they were originally that it is hard not to get excited. They are also a good bit faster and more accurate than the SEL50F18 was on my old NEX-7. Even the Fuji 35mm felt faster than the NEX Zeiss 24mm in low light (to be fair it is faster in daylight).


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Taken on my Fujifilm X-Pro1, 35 and 60mm lenses.

2 thoughts

  1. A good idea to capture these works of art before they are gone. I wonder how long we have before neon gets replaced by lcd screens? I think it’s already happening in Leicester Square?

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