This week we’re going to experiment with a particular type of lighting called rim lighting. It is created by placing your subject between the camera and the light source and is best seen when the background behind your subject is dark. The light source can be natural (i.e. the sun) or unnatural (i.e. flash or a continuous light source). Your subject can be lit (with fill-flash or a reflector) or in dark shadow for a very moody feeling. The choice is up to you.
In the photo above, Eric used a single light source shining on the model in an otherwise dark room. The rim lighting defines the shape – especially of the arm – while the majority of the model falls into dark shadow with no detail.
The photo above shows the difference that rim lighting can make on a subject that is backlit by the sun. I noticed the deer on the hillside behind my house as the sun crested the top of the hill and started shining on an area that just moments before had been in shade. There are only a few minutes each morning when this lighting condition takes place and on this morning I noticed the deer mainly because the rim lighting on its ears caught my eye. The rim light makes the outline of the deer stand out from an otherwise busy background as well as highlights the long eyelashes.
If you need some technical guidance on how to achieve rim lighting, here are some tutorials. Pay attention to how the light is positioned relative to the subject. While these tutorials use higher end equipment, you can achieve the same effect with DIY lighting if you know where to place it. Creativity is encouraged.
- Rim Lighting For Portraits: Take and Make Great Photography with Gavin Hoey (portraits)
- How to Get Rim Lighting Effect (wildlife)
- Rim Light with One Light: Take and Make Great Photography with Gavin Hoey (products)
- Tips for Photographing Glassware on both Black and White Backgrounds (products)
To recap this week’s challenge:
- Take a photo with rim lighting around the subject.
- The choice of subject is up to you.
- Post your photo during the week of Sunday, June 28 and Saturday, July 4.
- Please remember to comment on at least FIVE photo submissions this week by answering the question “why?” in your comments. In other words, “why do I like (or not like) this photo?” or “why did this photo catch my eye?” Thank you!
The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:
- Take a new photo for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
- Post your photo each week to our active communities on Facebook or Flickr (or both). Tag the photo: #2020photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
- Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2020 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.