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Model photography with life-size backgrounds in perfect perspective [25 pictures]

October 16, 2013 | By Abraham | 5 comments

Photographer and model-maker Michael Paul Smith has been building models and photographing them for over 25 years. All his scenes take place in the fictional town of Elgin Park, a quintessential mid-20th-century, middle American town of his own creation.

One of the most interesting aspects of many of his compositions is how he includes actual buildings and trees behind his models as if they were the same scale. With a careful eye for placement and lighting, Smith uses forced perspective to put his model cars, trains, and buildings into the same world as the trees and buildings in the background, despite their being many times smaller.

Here are several of his finished photos, each followed by a behind-the-scenes shot…

The Delivery of the New Bendix Washing Machine

Model photography with lifesized backgrounds - 09

Model photography with lifesized backgrounds - 10

North Main Street – Elgin Park [circa 1930's ]

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Model photography with lifesized backgrounds - 08

Darren Winthrop’s ’65 Mustang Fastback

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The Arrival of the Corvette Show Cars

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One of the Many Pleasant Streets in Elgin Park

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The Day After It Snowed

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Moving Day – Stopping by the Creek – 1944

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The 1957 Ford Hide-Away Hardtop Promotion

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1950 – The Start of the Suburbs

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1935 – News Happens in Elgin Park

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Relatives Visiting from Up State NY -1934

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Late Summer – 1938

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To see lots more pics, read more about them, and buy prints, visit Smith’s Flickr page and his collection on SmugMug.

(via This Isn’t Happiness)

5 Comments

    1. Dylan says:

      Millions of people like to spend their spare time doing something creative, or enriching, instead of just watching tv or playing video games. Building models has always been a very popular hobby, and plenty of people enjoy it enough to spend a little time on it each day. But because this model builder took creative photos and posted, you say he has too much time on his hands?

    2. ChrisB says:

      After looking at the quality of these models and the amount of work that probably goes into setting up for each shot, I suspect not. When you take the time to browse the interwebs and then post comments about people having too much time on their hands… nevermind.

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