Model maker/collector and photographer Michael Paul Smith is a master at recreating incredibly accurate outdoor scenes using his extensive die-cast model car collection and forced perspective.
Mixing up miniature cars, detail items and buildings into a scene whose backdrop is the real world, he shoots the gorgeous miniature vistas of the town he has created and named “Elgin Park” — and he does it all with a cheap point-and-shoot.
Elgin Park is some 25 years in the making, as are Smith’s modeling and diorama photography skills. In an extensive interview with Fstoppers, he describes his tools, his process and the minute attention to detail that creating these scenes requires.
Ironically, Smith has diagnosed himself as “math challenged,” so when it comes to properly framing the forced perspective, he simply eyeballs it. Years of experience have led to an uncanny ability to do this right on the first shot, but if he doesn’t, he simply goes up and unceremoniously drags his table/models into the correct spot.