The final installment in this series covers Rim Lighting. This lighting technique uses a light behind the subject so that the subject is “rimmed” by the light. You see this lighting used in the movies a lot where the director has the sun shining behind the actors to really explode the hair in the “sunset shots”. Photographers will use this to help separate the subject from the background.
Think of Rim lighting as using a single light that acts as a kicker and a hair light.. You typically set the light up behind the subject shooting straight at the camera. Set the light to be at least one stop more powerful than the key light, if not it won’t show up.
For this shot, I probably should have elevated the light a little higher and zoomed out a bit as I didn’t get a good “rim” on the top of her right shoulder or along her left arm. But there are nice highlights on her hair, profile of her face and along her right arm.
So you can see with using only one source light, its possible to create several dynamic images that have different moods too them. Using Distance, power, angle, and various modifiers, with one light you can create endless possibilities with your lighting.
The important thing is to experiment. Build time in your sessions to try experimental lighting. Get your main shots down then experiment, experiment and experiment to find what you like.
There are multiple groups and forums based on light weight lighting, Strobist is a great web site for learning about lighting.