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How to Photograph TV Screens and PC Monitors

how to photograph an image on a tv
Photo By Joni

Tv screens and computers have invaded most of our living spaces including offices. And as photographers we might have to conduct out shoots in such an environment. But many photographers struggle to capture TV/computer screen perfectly.  They end up with black stripes appearing across the TV/computer screen.

photographing television screens
Photo By Samsung Tomorrow

A little bit of background information as to how a TV or CRT, LCD, LED monitor work will help you tackle the problem effectively.  All monitors have a refresh rate at which the screen replaces images on a pixel by pixel basis to make it a moving image. This process is happening continuously every second. Different types of monitors like CRT, LCD etc have different refresh rates.  The main thing to remember is that the shutter speed you set should be slower than the refresh rate of the monitor you are photographing; else you will end up with a black band across the screen, a phenomenon referred to as banding.

photographing tv screen
Photo By Samsung Tomorrow

In case of CRT monitors the refresh rate is 24 times per second, in newer screens it is much faster than this. The best way to go about finding the right shutter speed for any given monitor is to set your camera to shutter priority mode, set a shutter speed of 1/30 th and shoot a trial picture. If there is no banding occurring you may increase the shutter speed and try again, thus by trial and error you could finally find out the fastest shutter speed you can use with a given monitor.

how to photograph computer monitors
Photo By Pablo Ruiz Múzquiz

 Also do keep in mind that the refresh rate could vary from monitor to monitor so a little trial and error is the best option every time.
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