Las Vegas Photographer Christian Purdie Uses the Sun as a Rim Light


Las Vegas, NV, October 15, 2020 --( In photography, the rim light is a very subtle edge of light on the backside of the subject. It is a little touch of light that we normally only see with a professional photographer. Las Vegas photographer Christian Purdie uses the sun as the source of his edge light. This type of backlighting overexposes the edge of his subjects by two stops, but at the same time underexposing the foreground by two stops. Christian primarily uses high-speed strobes over reflected or “bounced” light, because he likes the control that the strobes give him. With bounced light, a photographer is limited on the amount of adjustment whether it be plus or minus meaning adding light to the foreground or subtracting light. Christian’s strobes can be adjusted in 1/3rd stop increments. These numbers don’t mean very much to non-photographers, but for a professional photographer, these numbers mean a great deal. For clients, the control of these numbers translates to art.

Using the sun as a rim light is technical, but beneficial for two main reasons. First, it helps the subject to avoid looking into the sun and second the orange or golden edge light brings up the aesthetics of the photograph. Christian learned this technique while working as a Las Vegas portrait photographer; the sun is bright and during the summer extremely hot. By having his subjects with their backs to the sun he gets a rim light and gives room for his subjects to relax their faces to help with more emotions in their expressions.

With the sun lighting, the subject from behind Christian’s uses his strobes in the front to recreate studio-quality lighting, but on location. This is how he creates very unique and distinctive family portraits or a high-end fashion look to his outdoor portrait photography sessions. Being an expert with lighting, Christian has the time to connect with his clients and bring out expressions or have them try something a little more creative than just look at the camera and smile. He tries to bring out a little bit of their personality in every portrait photography session.

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Christian Purdie Photography
Christian Purdie
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