Shooting Against the Light: Lining with Light

 

Rimlighting can help define your subjects. Angle yourself and watch light draw outlines of nature and people.

Have you ever seen a cloud outlined with light? Or a golden halo surrounding and illuminating a person’s hair? This is known as rimlighting. It can make the subject stand out by simply making its edges very apparent.

Rimlighting isn’t always about drama. The effect can subtle too. Exposure: 1/200sec at f/11 (ISO 100) Photograph/Yuwaraj Gurjar

Rimlighting isn’t always about drama. The effect can subtle too. Exposure: 1/200sec at f/11 (ISO 100) Photograph/Yuwaraj Gurjar

How to Achieve it
To capture rimlighting, position the subject or adjust your vantage point such that the light falls on the subject from the back, but in an oblique manner. Since the subject and the background are considerably darker than the outline, the camera will accidentally overexpose the scene. To avoid this, press the Exposure Compensation button and input a negative value.

What Looks Good With Rimlight
Natural subjects like reeds, prickly fruit or even blades of grass look great when rimlit. Stark portraits with a subtle rimlight can create a cinematic effect. You can also try using the onboard flash to illuminate the subject while using rimlighting as the hairlight. Also, have you ever thought of combining rimlighting with a silhouette? Animals that have a thick fur coat can also be great subjects for this technique.

Try This
Still life objects like vases, wine glasses, coffee cups and even simple candle stands can be outlined with the use of rimlighting.

For more techniques on backlighting, click here.

Tags: backlighting, Chandni Gajria, dare to shoot against backlight, lines with light