The Five Minute Photo Challenge

2 min readMay 28

This Mercedes AMG FT3 on a car hauler looks like a lot of fun. It’s just a Hot Wheels toy but I love it.

This was a challenge I accepted from a friend. Make a photograph in five minutes or less. Spend no more than one minute in post. No AI.

Personally, I have as much fun using AI as I do using a camera, but it’s good to exercise all parts of your skillset so that you stay sharp. I did spend a few minutes pre-visualizing the scene but I think that doesn’t count :)

I grabbed a black mirror for the base and reflection in the foreground and used two black cards to create a mini studio. I positioned a Lumecube Panel Pro directly above the car. Since this is 1/64 scale, the Panel Pro is like having a 10 foot softbox.

I used my Fuji X100V mounted on a Platypod and set the camera to ISO 250, f/14 for 26 seconds.

Then a simple levels adjustment in Photoshop; a one button color grade in Boris FX Optics and a final pass from Topaz Denoise and it was done. Total time setting up and shooting, less than five minutes. Total time in post, less than one minute. Lots of fun. Give it a try.

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