Kevin Thai Photography

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Day 11: Rim and Fill Lighting Set Up


Wow! Thanks Udi for featuring me on your Blog! Also, thanks everyone for visiting. I hope you enjoy these photos and videos you see here. I’d love for you to subscribe to my YouTube, add me as a contact on Flickr, follow me on Twitter, or RSS this blog and continue to follow this behind the scenes Project. I’d love to have your continuing support and feedback.

Project Looking Glass - Day 11

As photographers, we have the important responsibility to control light. We have the ability to control the color, the size, the intensity, the spread, to make it harsher or softer, and we can control where the light hits and don’t hit. Another photographer once said it’s not about controlling light, but about controlling shadows. Either way, we make decisions that affect the emotion and direction of our audience.

Light is also important because our eyes naturally tend to focus on what is lit, and that will draw our eyes there. That’s a reason why vignetting is really cool. Let’s take an example from Gareth Payne. In this photo, he allows the light to tell a story – We can just see his weapon, his mask with a small splash of red, his utility belt. You know just enough details think this subject is dangerous. The photo even enhances its name – Shadow Trooper. He could have simply lit the whole figure – but then it wouldn’t be as interesting anymore. Here is another example of selective lighting. On the flip side, he created a high key (lots of light) image here to create another story for a Snow Trooper in which the background is a washed with white, well, snow!

Rim Lighting is also very important as it’s used to separate the subject from the background. If I only lit my Kid Robot doll from the front, I would lose the black areas of my minifigure. There would be no depth, no 3D like quality to a very 2D image.

This is a very simple set up if you have two lights. It doesn’t have to be a small flash. What I’m going to teach you here to how to create Rim Lighting and Fill Lighting for the Toy sized subject. The equiptment here is adapted from larger human sized devices such as this strip light and this reflector. Here is also another photo that’s a Strip Light “Cheat Sheet,” which is what I had in my mind for weeks waiting for the right time apply it.

Anyways, here is the video below that has a lot of details and examples of what lights and reflectors can do. Let me know if you have any questions. You can find this video and photo on Flickr, Facebook, and YouTube – as well as right here on WordPress.


March 12, 2011 - Posted by | How To's, Kid Robot, Lessons


  1. Hey!
    I´m N-7 Mereel from flickr!
    Nice to see you here!
    This is a great shot from all of you!
    If you want, you can visit my own Blog:
    But it´s german…

    Comment by N-7 Mereel | March 12, 2011 | Reply

    • Hey Mereel. That’s cool that you can contribute in both German and English. I’ll definitly take a look over at your blog – I’ll just have to use Google Translate to help me out 😛

      Comment by Kevin Thai | March 12, 2011 | Reply

      • 😀
        I´m German, so it´s quite easy for me to speak it!
        English is not so difficult, too, because i´m good at english at school!
        Would be cool, if you visit my Blog!

        Comment by N-7 Mereel | March 17, 2011

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