Imagine creating a retro small town where you could relive your childhood. How amazing would it be to be able to experience only the parts that you want? What if you could leave out the parts you want to forget? Heavily bullied as a child, Michael Paul Smith used his imagination to cope and escape. Imagination and seclusion often work hand in hand to breed artistic ability, as it did in his case. Artistic ability leads to appreciation. Michael’s appreciation lead him to become a car buff and collector of 1/24 scale die cast models. He was not interested in horsepower, the beauty and design of the vehicles is what captivated him.
Unlike most collectors, Michael Paul Smith wasn’t satisfied with letting his collection sit on the shelf. He wanted to create buildings and photograph his models in real world context. The logical starting point would be to build a gas station for all the cars. Michael moved on from there, constructing more buildings and taking more photos. Michael’s love for art and beauty have inspired him to do some amazing things. With a low quality digital camera, his collection of 300+ die cast cars and trucks, and a vision… the retro small town of Elgin Park was born.
Positioning objects of different size so that they appear to harmonize is called forced perspective. Most photographers have a difficult time grasping this concept. Michael admits that he powered through quite a steep learning curve.
The idea of using forced perspective to photograph the automobile replicas came from filming practices of the 20’s. They used to build smaller buildings and place the actors closer to make the buildings appear larger.
Photoshop filters will be added to only to make the photo look more time correct.
Michael Paul Smith and his amazing attention to detail have truly created a window into a land of imagination and possibility. The beautiful retro small town of Elgin park is a great place to visit and I believe I will find myself returning often.
Elgin Park is a window into the past. This window allows your imagination to run wild in the popular ‘Retro Age’ of the 1930’s – 1960’s. Maybe it will spark a memory or allow you to escape to an alternate reality momentarily. The limits are only within your own imagination. Though this retro small town exists only in pictures, with over 76 million visitors to date, Elgin Park proves to be a very popular cyber travel destination.
For more photos check out Michael Paul Smith’s Flickr page.
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