Lighting the GR Supra... Using its own Headlights


I had this strange idea that I wanted to try lighting a car using only its own headlights, via a mirror.

It sort of worked! It’s not entirely practical, but here it is. Maybe with a wider mirror (convex?), it would have a bigger spread, and reveal more of the car, but I kinda like the tight spotlight effect. Honestly, I have gotten worse results using dedicated photo lighting, but that could be user error and a younger me.

A quick how to:

I mounted a 22-inch mirror on a light stand, turned the lights on, and aligned the beam of light to point back at the Supra. That's about it! I had envisioned getting the mirror within the shot, so I kept everything pretty close together. Ultimately, having the mirror and the car in the frame wasn't my favorite. 

I used an 8-foot ladder to get more of a top-down perspective, and shot with my Nikon D850 on manual mode, exposing for the brightest parts of the direct-lit yellow paint, and letting the rest fall into the black shadows. 

The lead photo is f/2.8, 1/100th of a second, and ISO 800.
My 24-70 lens was at 40 mm. 

The smoke, from a cheapy Amazon smoke machine, was an attempt to make the light easier to visualize, and I think it adds something. I'm not sure if this is a technique I'll repeat, but maybe it will springboard a new idea. 


I would try this with a 911, but my SC has to be idling to have the headlights on, and that sounded to be too noisy.

I plan to have some more traditional photos of the 2021 Toyota GR Supra 3.0, and a video, in the next week or so!

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