So often we try to position ourselves with the sun at our back to get that “golden light” look – but positioning ourselves to shoot into the sun at these golden hours have such a nice effect that many people tend to neglect or forget about in the heat of the moment.
By underexposing with a stop or two when shooting into the rising or setting sun, you can induce a rim-lit back-lit look to your subjects, and add oodles of moodles to your photography. By “rim-lit” I mean the outline of your subject will be illuminated strongly, often blown out, with the rest of the animal’s detail diminished – a halo if you will. Just how much of this you want as “silhouette” will be up to you and how much you choose to underexpose the image.
This female leopard was photographed on the recent Wild Eye Wildlife Photography Seminar as she sat on a rock looking for potential prey at dawn. I chose to retain a tad more detail here.
These Cape Mountain Zebras were photographed in the Mountain Zebra National Park in April this year, and I opted for a darker silhouette approach.
Rim-lit images can be achieved with side-lighting as well, as is the case with this elephant bull photographed in Mana Pools.
I think we get stuck so often in getting those textbook shots of animals lit up from the front, that we forget about the magic of the rim-lit halo.
Why don’t you try it out sometime? A good opportunity would be to join me in Mana Pools from 7-12 October 2015…
Share this Post