Using Car Headlights as a Light Source

Back in the summer (oh, how I am dreaming of warmer days!) I was hanging out with my good friend, Chelsea, just goofing around with my camera. All of a sudden, Chelsea asked if I’d ever used car headlights for photos. I was honestly a bit bummed that I had never thought of that of my own… but we tried it!

Since you can’t control the strength of headlights (beyond regular and brights, of course) like you can an off-camera strobe or flash, the only way to change the intensity of light is with the subject’s distance from the car. The closer the subject is to the car, the harder/harsher the light will be. If the subject is farther away, the light will be softer and more subtle. We did this well after the sun went down (as you can see from the sky), but it would be fun to try this during the day as well. I’m guessing the subject would have to be pretty close to the car in order for the light to overpower the sun, but it would be a super fun experiment, and something I’m looking forward to trying when the snow starts to melt!

Has anyone else done any fun shoots with car headlights? I’d love for you to link it up in the comments section if you have!



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