Into The Darkness

As a photographer one is always looking for ways to try out different techniques and putting new ideas into play. With this image I had the opportunity to do exactly that.

Rim lighting can often give an extremely powerful effect if used correctly. It can be done in numerous ways with the use of a light source positioned behind the subject. The light source can be a spotlight at different angles, the use of the rising or setting sun behind the subject, or an off camera flash.


We were following the Southern Pride of lions one evening when I had the opportunity to use the spotlight from another vehicle to create a rim lighting effect around the lions. I went up ahead of the pride and waited for them to approach the Land Rover. As they came over a small rise, the spotlight from the other vehicle was right behind the lions and at a very low angle. I already had my camera on my usual night settings, but had to make a quick adjustment due to the brighter light coming from straight behind the lions. Using my Nikon D3s and my Nikkor 200-400mm f4 lens, manual mode at night, I set my camera to f5.6, ISO 3200 and a shutter speed of 1/250sec.

This created a golden halo around the pride and I took the opportunity to quickly take a few pictures before the spotlight came into the frame. This gave the image a very majestic feel and the effect of us entering the lion’s nocturnal world.

Stay focused

Darred Joubert

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