Main Menu
HomeAbout BC Car-FreeWhere to Buy BC Car-Free
Table of Contents
Cycle Touring
Weekend Getaways
Horseback Riding
Whale Watching
Bird Watching
Salmon Watching
Cave Exploring
River Rafting
Sea Kayaking
Appendix: Getting There
Seasons in the Sun
About the Author
The Critic's Voice
" The ideal guidebook.... "
Vancouver Tonight Book Review
Vote Now
Would you be interested in an E-Book Version of BC Car-Free for iPad, iPhone & PC

Click to Translate

English Arabic Chinese (Traditional) French German Greek Hindi Italian Japanese Korean Russian Spanish Indonesian Vietnamese Thai Turkish Afrikaans
FacebookMySpaceTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksRedditNewsvineTechnoratiLinkedinMixxRSS FeedPinterest
Rim Lighting E-mail
(6 - user rating)
Written by Brian Grover   
Monday, 02 November 2009 11:01
Assignment Number Twelve
If you've mastered the backlighting and silhouette assignments this one should be technically quite easy. The difficult part will be in finding a suitable subject matter under the right lighting conditions.

Rim lighting is a special kind of backlighting that lights up the outer edges of the subject. With harder objects the backlighting bounces off the edges of the subject. With thin objects or fuzzy objects the light actually passes through the edges, causing them to be brighter than the center of the object.

To use rim lighting effectively the sun should be behind the subject but usually is not included in the frame. Behind the subject the background should be dark so that the rim lighting effect has something to contrast against.

Leaves and tree trunks, rounded or curvy objects and hair and fur are all great subjects for rim lighting. If you can enlist a friend to pose for you, position her in the direct sun with the dark shadows of a forest or building in the background. Watch how the sun lights up her hair.

Next time you watch a movie notice how frequently directors use backlighting and rim lighting to bathe their leading men and ladies in a golden aura.

Let's look at a few examples:

Click Image to Zoom

The intense winter sun is high and to the right and out of the frame in this photo of fluffy cattails. Light passes through the thick outer edge of fluff and is redirected towards the camera lens. The background is fairly bright also but contrasts enough to give a rim lighting effect.
cattails afire

Click Image to Zoom

Springtime is takenoko time in Japan. The gloom of a bamboo forest provides an ideal background while a thin shaft of light illuminates this bamboo sprout, highlighting the curves and rough texture at the edges.
bamboo sprout

Click Image to Zoom

The sun is hidden low and to the right of the clouds, its light only able to penetrate and pass through the very edges. Note the direction of the light, pointing up and away from the camera. As the light passes through the edges of the clouds some of it is redirected towards the camera, giving a dramatic rim lighting effect. The drama is enhanced by the dark center of the clouds through which light can barely pass.
Arashiyama clouds

All photographs were taken by Brian Grover. To browse more images visit my photo gallery here: Brian Grover Photography.


If you find these assignments useful, Tell a Friend or Share them on Facebook, Twitter or other Social Bookmarking sites.

In addition to viewing these assignments online, you can subscribe, having them delivered to your e-mail account on a biweekly basis over the course of an entire year. Subscribing helps to give you regular reminders and motivation to get out and shoot. To subscribe read the Introduction.


Copyright © 2007 Brian Grover. Content Distribution is Prohibited
The graphical images and content hosted at are viewable for private use only. All other rights - including, but not limited to, distribution, duplication, and publication by any means - are the exclusive property of Brian Grover and Whisky-Jack Communications. International law provides criminal and civil penalties for those found to be in violation.

Contact the Author for further information.

© 2018 BC Car-Free Outdoor Portal - Take a Walk on the Wild Side
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.