At First Glance, These Photos Look Like Snapshots From The Past. The Truth Is So Much More.

Small town in artist Michael Paul Smith's photographs are from a bygone era. They capture a simpler time and a specific innocence. You can feel Michael's love for this community and this special place.

1. The photos are quaintly beautiful and full of peace.

2. They document a very specific time in U.S. history.

3. There's stillness and a bucolic charm to the place. But there is something you should know about this town.

4. It doesn't exist.

5. Michael builds these scenes out of custom, miniature models and sets.

6. The 60-year-old artist then photographs close-ups of the models.

7. They look just like vintage photos.

8. But you can't see any of the modern world happening all around them.

9. He started building the models as an exercise in craft.

10. What emerged was a "dream-like reconstruction" of the town he grew up in.


11. This is Michael's quintessential America, just like what he saw in his youth.

12. It's absolutely gorgeous.

13. If it existed, "Elgin Park" would be an incredible place to live.

14. To create the photos, he arranges Danbury Mint and Franklin Mint die casts on a card tables.

15. He uses the surrounding scenery to make the backgrounds in the distance of the photos.

16. The perspective and set up have to be just right...

17. The photos are convincingly realistic.

18. Even when you know what's behind the scenes.

19. How can something that looks so real be an illusion?


20. From here, you would never guess that the image above would be so convincing.

21. His behind-the-scenes selfies are pretty awesome.

The Elgin Park website has more of Michael's photos and his statements about his work. The Craftsmanship Museum website has full reviews of his process as well.

Credit: Amazing Planet

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