Rim Lighting To Add Wow To Your Images
I really love using multiple light sources because it enables you to do things that most photographers can’t do. With a little extra light somewhere you can take a regular image and really do something interesting and different with it. Rim lighting is one of those things that is virtually impossible to do without off-camera lighting unless you wait for that 5 minute window in the late afternoon and just happen to have everything else lined up perfectly. However, there is nothing to say that we can’t fake it and get some great results.
Getting the shot is easier than you might expect but will take a little bit of gear to get us the desired result.
- Off-Camera Speedlite or Monolight
- CTO (Color Temperature Orange) Gel
- Method to trigger remote flash
You key and fill lights may be setup any way that you normally do, or even natural light if it looks good. To get the rim light we use the CTO gel on the flash, pull the power down generally to 1/16th power (this will be vary based on power output of the flash) and then position the light 3-4 feet behind the subject with the flash pointing right at the back of the subject’s head.
The following example is rather extreme because of the black background.
While this does add quite an impact to the image, it is nowhere near natural because there is nothing obviously lighting her hair. In this next example, we do the exact same thing but outdoors where it now appears that her hair is lit by the setting sun.
Rim lighting like this is a simple lighting technique that you probably don’t want to use all the time but it’s always fun to pull it out when you want to really make something pop and add a little extra flair to your shot.flash, lighting, Rim Lighting, Speedlite, Strobe, Strobist