Car Guys Sitting Around A Fire

2 min readJun 3

One thing that draws me to toy photography is the fact that it offers lots of chances to make up and tell stories with a camera. This image is actually somewhat inspired by my own youthful experiences.

When I was a kid, we’d go down to the “yard” and hang out with the “hobos” and shoot the breeze, talking about cars. While we didn’t drive Nissans, the NISSAN LEAF-NISMO RC ELECTRIC RACE CAR depicted here is more in line with my current automotive interests, i.e., electric.

The fact that Hot Wheels has casts inspired by electric cars now shows just how far EVs have come. There are more than 50 EVs represented by Hot Wheels. Other than the Teslas, this may be my favorite.

So the story is a couple of car guys are discussing the sleek new Nismo and warming themselves by a fire. (Thanks to BorisFX Optics 2022.5.)

The 1:64 scale can be challenging since everything is so small and I have fat fingers, but it sure is fun. Adding the 1:64 scale, diecast metal characters makes it all so much more believable. The background is just a print of a photo mounted on to two small feet/stands to hold it upright.


Camera is the Fuji X100V, mounted to a Platyball Ergo, using a Lumecube Panel Pro as the main light source and some black cards to scrim any unwanted ambient light.

Exposure is ISO 640–5.3 seconds at f/14. Note that as subject matter to camera decreases, so does depth-of-field. You need to stop down when you work at 1/64 scale. I probably should start doing some focus stacking with these images but I am too lazy right now. Still just having fun.

Key to these shots working is keeping the camera at or just slightly above or below car level. Also key is reducing some (but not all) of the specular highlights you get when light bounces off the cars.

Remember, toys are joy.


I'm a toy photographer. I'm also delving into AI Art. I also help people get the most out of their Fuji X100 series cameras. (C) 2023