Wrap Around

November 16, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Wrap Around Lighting (Rim light)

There are many forms of classic lighting to generate a specific results, and of course variations in each style. Wrap around lighting (a slight variation in rim light) is more of a style rather than a formal style of lighting, but it can generate some very nice results. By Wrap around, I mean that the light tend to extend from back to front of your subject rather than just highlight the outline of a subject as classic rim lighting might accomplish.

There are of course many ways to achieve this with numerous lighting modifiers. In this case, I will cover a method that I have recently used based loosely off of tutorials by Lindsay Adler. The first step in this method is to place a large softbox behind your subject. 

The softbox will give you a clean pure white background. Some softboxes will have a hot spot near the center, however your subject will often obscure the hot spot (but more on this later). Of course, our subject is now has a rim light, but is also in shadow. Adding another light as shown in the diagram below will help.

LightingSetupLightingSetupUse this to share your lighting setup or to document your setup for future reference. Email me at [email protected] for comments and/or suggestions. Not for commercial use. The strobe in front of the subject is typically set at least 1 stop LESS than that strobe within the strobe in the softbox.

We now have our subject lit as well as the background. But we are not quite finished here. but it is a little hard to see just where the front strobe starts and the light from the softbox ends.

LightingSetupLightingSetupUse this to share your lighting setup or to document your setup for future reference. Email me at [email protected] for comments and/or suggestions. Not for commercial use. One thing we can do is add a gobo or opaque shield over the center of the softbox. By positing the black gobo you can control exactly how much of your subject has the wrap around effect. For example, you may only want the wrap around effect over the head and shoulders, and not lower arms or waist area. We can still add creative effects to this process.

LightingSetupLightingSetupUse this to share your lighting setup or to document your setup for future reference. Email me at [email protected] for comments and/or suggestions. Not for commercial use. We can add a gel (red in this case) over the softbox strobe, will will give a much more defined area of color wrap around your subject (See top image). By adding a gel, you may loose up to 1 stop of light, so you may need to re-adjust the power to the strobe in the softbox. Remember this should be set at least 1 stop higher than the strobe to the front of your subject. If you wish, you may add an umbrella to the strobe to the front of your subject to soften the light striking your subject. If you are still having difficulty getting just a highlight on your subject, try adding a grid to your forward strobe. Your forward light should remain at approximately 45 degrees from the camera axis.

By experimenting with power of the softbox and front strobe you may be able to get some very creative results!

 

 

 

 


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