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Rim light refers to the light surrounding the  edges of the subject we shoot, much like a halo. You could achieve this with artificial light, but I always find sun ray more divine.  It’s especially nice during magic hour (in the morning or evening, when the sun at her lower point). If you take a close up portrait, the sun will shine the model’s hair at its best angle during these hours.

Turn your object/model’s backto the sun, set your DSLR metering on spot metering, and aim at the object to get the right exposure of the subject. If you’re using a compact point-and-shoot digital camera, then set to the ‘backlit scene’ mode, and focus on the subject. Position your subjects so their faces are in the shade, but the sun illuminates their hair. And you’re set. See how the hair light makes my angels even more angelic  ;D

In the same morning, see how the rim light differs, depending on the position of the subject. In the first picture, the sun is almost directly behind Kayla. Whilst on Keira in the second pic, the sun is slightly to her right.

Morning sun always seems better than evening sun because the air is cleaner, and there are less activities on the surroundings, especially on a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning. So I guess it really pays to wake up early.

You could also achieved rim light indoors, as long as there’s light source illuminate from behind the subject (i.e. Strong daylight casting thru glass windows, or opened doors, or like in this picture, from a hole on the roof.)

Even during a cloudy evening, as long as your models are backlit, you could still see a soft rim light.

In some cases you would need to turn on your flash to fill in the dark subject. But, I prefer a blown up/washed out background to keep it looking natural.  Share your tips on achieving rim light, I’m sure there are tons of variables for different conditions that one can face.

So turn off the snooze button! Pack up your gear, and start shooting… the early morning! :D

by ingimg
ingenious imaging