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
North Main Street – Elgin Park [circa 1930's ]
Darren Winthrop’s ’65 Mustang Fastback
The Arrival of the Corvette Show Cars
One of the Many Pleasant Streets in Elgin Park
The Day After It Snowed
Moving Day – Stopping by the Creek – 1944
The 1957 Ford Hide-Away Hardtop Promotion
1950 – The Start of the Suburbs
1935 – News Happens in Elgin Park
Relatives Visiting from Up State NY -1934
Late Summer – 1938
(via This Isn’t Happiness)