2020 WEEK 27: Rim Lighting

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.

Portrait with Curved Line by Eric Minbiole

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.

Deer in the Brush by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

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.

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.

About thedigitaljeanie

I’m a self-taught photographer and way back when I used to love taking photos, but I allowed a business that I started in 2004 to take over my life and my photographic repertoire was reduced to quick product shots and how-to tutorials. When I joined the PhotoChallenge in December 2015, I was looking to rekindle my creativity and bring some joy back into my photography. I jumped in with both feet and have not looked back. I believe that photography can change the way we see and interact with the world around us. Some people may think that I hide behind the camera, but I feel that I experience the world in a much more intimate way when I am creating a composition in my viewfinder. In those moments distractions disappear, my mind focuses and I am fully present. It is just me and my camera capturing a moment in time that might otherwise go unnoticed. My background is as varied as the photos that I take. I’ve trained and worked as a software engineer, a massage therapist, an English teacher in Vietnam, a photo restoration artist (which is how I learned Photoshop) and for the past twelve years I have run a small software business with my husband where I have been published in numerous books and magazines, appeared on PBS television, created designs for fabric, quilts and machine embroidery and won awards for some of my quilts. It should come as no surprise that I am intensely curious about life and love to learn new things. I am blessed to live in the beautiful state of Colorado, USA in the Rocky Mountain foothills outside of Fort Collins with my husband and cat. You can find me online at: Photos: flickr.com/photos/the-digital-jeanie/ Day job: KaleidoscopeCollections.com Facebook: facebook.com/jeaniesa