Astounding photographic trick recreates mid-century America

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November 12, 2013
Astounding photographic trick recreates mid-century America.

elgin_thumbnailHow do you date a photo? Normally, you take a look at the fashion, the buildings, and the cars. If that's how you do it then these nostalgic photos may well have you fooled.

Often recreated in movies, mid-20th century America is an obsession for many people, so a book portraying everyday scenes from this era shouldn't raise many eyebrows. But Michael Paul Smith's Elgin Park: An Ideal American Town is getting all kinds of notice. That's because Smith, a New England photographer, has created 144 pages of pure magic — especially when you know how he did it.

Shot at the right distance with forced perspective, Smith combines real-life outdoor landscapes with miniature sets and tiny die-cast cars. The result is a completely believable set of photographs that transport us back half a century.

In addition to photography, Smith is also a textbook illustrator and model-building enthusiast whose formula for creating the shots is relatively simple. Using a simple point-and-shoot camera worth just $250, Smith sets the shot on instinct, no measuring or math required. Smith's greatest tool is merely a great eye — and a lifetime of experience.

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Have you worked with miniatures? What era would you recreate if you could? Let us know in the comments.

WDD Staff

WDD staff are proud to be able to bring you this daily blog about web design and development. If there's something you think we should be talking about let us know @DesignerDepot.

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