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A Little Perspective On This Photo: Those Cars Are Actually Miniature Models
October 20, 2013
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One Of The Many Pleasant Streets In Elgin Park
1/17 OPEN GALLERY

Michael Paul Smith loves photographing old-fashioned cars, and as you can see from the picture above, he's good at it. But his photographs aren't exactly what they seem.

If you hit the gallery above, you'll see that what look like full-size vintage automobiles are actually miniature diecast models, cleverly shot against a real background so that they appear larger than they are. Smith takes photos in and around Boston, setting up his cars on an old card table.

As for how he achieves the effect, he told Strombo.com it's all a matter of scale.

"The most important aspect of making models and photographing them so they appear real: keep everything in scale," he said via email. "From the thickness of the shingles down to the wallpaper design and door knobs, everything must be in the proper relationship to each other." 

Smith started taking the photos back in 2008, after deciding he wanted to do something with his collection of diecast cars, which he started collecting decades ago.

"Having more than 300 diecast cars and trucks just sitting on my shelves seemed a sad affair," he told Strombo.com. "Creating a context for them appealed to me, but I wasn't sure how to go about doing it."

He's not a professional photographer, and he uses "an inexpensive point and shoot" camera to shoot his pictures. As much as he can, he tries to create all his effects in camera, but he does use Photoshop to filter, desaturate and tint his shots, as well as occasionally to remove a person or car from the frame.

All of Smith's forced-perspective photos are set in the fictional town of Elgin Park, and some of his earlier photos were gathered into a 2011 book called Elgin Park: An Ideal American Town.

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