I Dare You!

by peter_budo

submit your photo

Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Take the 2-minute tour ×
Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I enjoy macro photography and have heard of using "Rim Lighting" for higher contrast. How do I achieve this effect?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You get a rim light by placing the light behind your subject, but it's more used in portrait photography than in macro (see example). But I guess it can work, if you make your light small enough to fit behind what you're shooting.

share|improve this answer
Just a thought - isn't the light source in your example behind and above the subject? If so, you needn't use a small light source, just place it high enough so it's out of shot, no? –  NickM Jul 28 '10 at 14:43
I think it's hidden behind the model in the example. It probably wouldn't make much difference if it was above and just out of frame, but if you put it significantly higher then highlights will look different -- it won't be just rim, but larger area -- something similar to highlights in flickr.com/photos/aknacer/3320219356. But the main difference would be practical: you'd have to work around light stand that would be visible in picture, and shade the camera lens to prevent loss of contrast. Both of these things are taken care of when you stick the flash behind his head. –  che Jul 28 '10 at 15:15

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.