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Computer CRTs and televisions have a thing in common: They are both notoriously difficult to take pictures of.

Using this guide, however, I shall show you how to do it!

First of all, you will have to find out how fast your screen refreshes. This you can usually find out by looking at the manual (for televisions) or the Monitors control panel. Typical refresh rates are between 50 and 120 hz.

Let`s say that the refresh rate is 60 hz. This means that it takes 1/60 of a second to update the whole screen, right? Problem is, that most photography happens at shorter shutter times than 1/60. If you would take a picture of a 60hz screen with a 1/120 shutter time, you would only catch half of the monitor on the picture.

Theoretically, then, you should be able to get away with using a 1/60 shutter time. However, this doesn`t work, because you are then dependent of both the monitor AND the cameras shutter to be spot-on.

Instead, you will want to divide the refresh rate by two or three. In other words: for our 60 hz screen, you would use a 1/30, or (even better) a 1/15 second shutter times. These shutter times mean that you will want to use a tripod as well.

You will also want the monitor to be showing a still image. Attempting to take a 1/15 second shot of a Quake game in action, you will have a major blur, and no picture. you could, of course, cheat by taking a screenshot (see your computer manual) of the action, and then show it full-screen before taking the picture.

In any case, you will want to take several shots, because you can never know which exposures turn out okay, and which ones don`t. Using a digital camera is a good idea, because you will know right away if the exposure looks good. Furthermore, if you decide to try this with film (as in 135 film or otherwise), use slow film (ISO 100 or slower).

(addition:) Only taking pictures digitally, thereby adjusting white balance on a regular basis, I completely overlooked the fact, but a friendly noder reminds me that you have to adjust the white balance yourself, even if you take your pictures with film. This is done by setting your monitor's white balance point to the same temperature as the film you are using. In other words; usually around 5500 Kelvin for normal (daylight) film. If your film uses a different colour adjustment, it will say on the pack, and you will want to adjust your monitor to send out the same colour, so that "white" turns out white.

If you are interested in more than just the monitor's image on the picture, have a go at How to take a picture of a computer

Good luck!