Boost Drama with Rim Lighting

Boost Drama with Rim Lighting

Rim Lighting creates drama in a photo – more so than with most lighting techniques – and in the right situation it can be just the creativity you need. This shot turned a photo a session from typical and blah into something that really pops.

To do rim lighting you really need off-camera lighting.  Your photo subject should be between you and your lights, with the model either blocking the light or the light just outside of the frame. The light can be on one side or the other – or even both for balance.  In the case of this photo, it was placed on a light stand, directly in front of the model, at chest height.

Also, you should set your ISO the lowest your camera can go and be sure not to blow out the shoot with too much flash. Set your mode to manual and start with a 1/125 exposure or faster with a f/8 aperture or larger.  These photos come out great in color or black and white.

Finally, it is best to snoot your your light. This is done by putting a funnel like adapter onto your monolight so that the light comes out in a narrow stream, more like a flashlight than sunlight. And it’s fun to tell a model you are going to snoot them. The reactions are priceless.