We'd like to think that, one day, the word "LEGO" will by synonymous with "high art." Even if that day never comes, these LEGO photos are absolutely fantastic all the same.

WINNER - Dreaming of a Real Ocean

I was inspired by some of the success people have had taking pictures of Lego creations set against real scenes. It seems like this is often done against snow or ice. There was only one complication — I live in Florida. There's no snow or ice to work with. Fortunately, I do have access to a rather nice beach and, as it happens, some spectacular light from the sunrise on Sunday. I experimented with a couple of different models — sand castle, pirate ship — before settling on an old Creator series model. Fujifilm s100fs — 1/1600" — F3.1 — ISO100 — 10.2mm — Film Simulation: Velvia
[The pick of our esteemed LEGO fanatic Jesus Diaz]
- Mike Case

WINNER 2 - Opposite Directions

My wife said that it's fun to see that father and son play with the same toys. Nikon D7000 with Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM: 1/5s, f8, ISO 100, 50mm
[The pick of the less fanatical but equally pretentious Mark Wilson]
- Petri Damstén

LEGO Muscle Junkyard

Here's a joint submission of what we dubbed the Lego Muscle Junkyard. Nicjasno is an avid Lego builder, he makes his own replica scale cars with working pneumatic engines and gearboxes and always has several unfinished projects lying around the house. We were hanging out at his place and had the idea of using all his unfinished lego cars as a setting for a sort of junkyard, so we piled them up in the dirtiest spot behind his house we could find in a haphazzard way, and this is the result (after trying several layouts and lenses - I mostly shoot prime these days). We used a yellow Camaro, a red Mustang and a black Charger. I used a Nikon D300 with a Sigma 85 f/1.4 lens set to f/2.8 for better image quality and ISO cranked up to 800 because the light was dying on us. Only the evening sky was used as the light source.
- Darjan

Mysterious Incident

Something went horribly wrong at an advanced research facility. A mysterious incident has left no survivors. An emergency response team has been sent in to regain control of the facility and investigate what's gone wrong. This photo was shot with a good old Canon G2 at ISO 50. The scene was illuminated with a red LED with an exposure of a half second.
- Antonio Manuel


I cut window holes in a cardboard box with a pocket knife to serve as a backdrop for the firetrucks and firefighters. After dark, I placed the camera directly on the ground for a low angle shot, and lined everything up so that the trucks and backdrop were where I wanted them in the frame... making sure the Legos and the camera were a safe distance from the cardboard (and soon to be fire). After a few test shots (without fire), I went behind the carboard "building" and lit my Harbor Freight "Propane Torch" (an awesomely, frighteningly cool homeowner's tool for just a $17 investment). With one hand I triggered the shutter via remote, and at the same time, with the other hand pulled the trigger on the torch and blasted the back side of the cardboard with flames to get them to jump out through the window openings. Fear not... no Legos were harmed in the capturing of this image. Canon Rebel XSI, Canon EF 50mm 1:1.8 II, F5.6, ISO 800, Wireless (IR) Remote (uWinKa RC-C6)
- Todd Sonneborn

The Lynch Mob

I've been following the Gizmodo photo contests for a while and meaning to enter. When the subject of Lego came up, I knew it was time to take the plunge. Our family name is Lynch and we always sign our cards as "The Lynch Mob", so I came up with the idea of doing a Lego lynch mob photo. I got my six year old son to round up his lego mini figures and get the meanest looking faces possible. I got him to arm them with weapons (real and makeshift) and he came up with about 50 of them, so I used them all in the shot. Since it's a photo of kids toys, I wanted a bit of comedy in it too, so I picked out a lego santa to be one of the main characters. I used a Canon 60D and a Canon 17-85 lens with a Macro filter attached. The only lighting is from the two matches you see in the shot. I went through a whole packet of matches experimenting with exposure times and character positions. I ended up with a 10 second exposure at f/8 on ISO 100. The only post processing was a slight tweak of the curve in Photoshop.
- Charles

Chopping Block

My brother made a LEGO minifig of himself (he is a great cook) at the LEGO store and gave it to us for Christmas. He is the one who forwarded me this photo challenge so it seemed fitting that I incorporate him into the image. I thought it would be funny if Perry (my brother) had a cutting board full of apples only to realize one is a frog. Equipment: Nikon D200, 35mm 1.8, Raynox Macro filter, Sigma 530 DG flash
- Brett Streby


As soon I saw that the contest was LEGO, I was thrilled to have the excuse to go out and get some awesome LEGO (trips to LEGO stores = child-like glee). After spending hours assembling the 'Adventure,' I cleared off my dining room table and hung a black backdrop. A friend and I spend a good deal of time experimenting with different lighting positions (this shot used four separate light sources), various exposures, etc. I'm hoping to try this again after tracking down some dry ice in order to add a roiling steam effect. Canon Rebel T2i f/8 ISO200 4 second exposure
- Paul

The Cave

Out of all the contests I have entered, I spent the most time on this one staging it. I still buy LEGOs so I had plenty to choose from. I built a cave out of some rocks for my monster and my brother made a torch for the little dude out of a match. I used a heat lamp over my right shoulder as lighting. Shot with my D90 and 50 1.8 @ ISO 800, F9 and 1/8 sec. Processed a little in Lightroom and Gimp afterword.
- Kyle Frantz

Bonsai Swing

I have a little bonsai tree and I thought it would be cute to have a lego couple playing on a tree swing. I liked the contrast of placing the man-made object in the natural world. I think it really gives life to the minifigures and makes the image more fun. Also, the guy totally looks like my husband :) Nikon D40, 18 - 55 mm, w/ Raynox macroscopic lens attached, ISO: 200, 1/4 sec at f 4.5
- Amanda Streby

Dark Side

I was trying to take a photo like this with real persons the other day, and i wanted to try it for this challenge.
It may not be too noticeable at first glance, but its a clone and an imperial guy combined.
So.. I placed a black paper as a background, the minifig at the center and an iPhone on each side of it. I started taking the picture in Bulb mode, illuminating half of the minigig from one side with an iPhone, then cover the camera, switch minifig, and illuminated half from the other side. Lightroom to make it B&W and make adjustments :) Canon t2i, ISO 100, F/22, 81sec
- Diego Ramirez


For this challenge, I want to mix both of my favorites: Lego and film-noir. The set isn't a big problem, but the biggest problem is the lighting and how I should emphasis on shadows.
Poor biker, but he shouldn't carry that mysterious suitcase. Camera: Nikon D5000, Lens: Kit lens 18-55
- Do Son


It's been a while since I've owned any Legos. When I saw this shooting challenge I was so excited to see what Lego had going on and to find some inspiration. Unfortunately our local stores all have pathetic Lego selections - BUT I did find this little gem of a guy, a photographer! The one squinting eye (perfect for a photographer) was actually the head of a rocker Lego guy. Both of his eyes were open, so I switched heads. Originally I was going to take him out on the town to see what he'd photograph in the real world but I stopped when I realized that he would probably want to snap a photo of a huge hairy monster quietly laying down for a few moments! The setup was super simple, a white background and natural light. I use the Nikkor 18-200mm lens for everything. Nikon D5000, 10/1250 sec, f/5.6, ISO 450, AF-S DX VR Zoom Nikkor 18-200mm
- Lauren


Maybe more than any challenge before, it sure seemed like everyone had fun this week, and from the descriptions, it seems like your kids did, too. As always, find the full gallery below. Wallpaper prints are on flickr.

Mark Wilson is the founder of photography blog Life, Panoramic as well as Philanthroper, a daily deal site for nonprofits.