Black-light photography involves shooting a subject under ultraviolet light. To the naked eye, these kind of lights appear to emit very little light: that’s because the bluish UV light is at the limits of the visible spectrum, and much of the output is invisible to us. But the UV can cause white or neon colors to produce visible light, giving it a glow that looks great when used with body painting.
Blacklight, or UV lighting, is most commonly seen in nightclubs. The ultraviolet lighting makes white shirts radiate with a bluey glow. The peculiar visible effect that this form of invisible lighting has on different materials means that some subjects take on a completely different look when shot under these specialist lamps – making the surreal effects ideal for photography.
UV lighting can be used to photograph most things, but it’s best suited to studio subjects because the light source is quite weak, and it needs to be used in a dark room with a black background to give the strongest effect.