I was wrong. Let me just get that out of the way. Why I was wrong… well I dunno.

Ben wrote me a week ago letting me know about his site, and said this to me:

“I thought that you may be interested in my latest project CITYshrinker. Taking on cities from Melbourne to Tokyo, shrinking them to diorama proportions!”

I inferred this to mean that he made dioramas or models of cities. I knew it looked like tilt shift photography, but I figured that was a part of the effect of making tiny miniatures look real. I also read the about section of his website, which gives no further information, other than he works with photos, which would still be applicable to photographing models.

The pictures are still cool, but definitely not as cool as I thought they were. Dang.

The photos you see above aren’t real. Well, at least not real in the way you’re thinking. Everything in these photos was created by the incredibly talented hands of Ben Thomas, a Melbourne based maker of dioramas and all around creative genius. Looking through his site is kind of a joke, because you look at his images, and it’s absolutely mind boggling that he MADE these images. There are so many people and buildings and details that it doesn’t seem like it could even be possible to do something like this!

I talked to Ben briefly through email and he told me that getting the lighting and coloring correct is the hardest part at this point. That to me is also boggling, as I would think that it would all be really effing hard to do no matter how good you get at making models. Go take a look at the rest of Ben’s work over his site, CITYshrinker, and also be sure to check out his store as well to pick up some of his prints.


8 Comments CITYshrinker

  1. Ross March 13, 2008 at 1:16 PM

    The people in the top one are too real. Id like to know the scale of these models, because this effect is easily achieved with a tilt shift lens.

  2. Bobby S. March 13, 2008 at 1:46 PM

    Yeah I know what you mean, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t do any of that.

  3. Patrick March 13, 2008 at 6:24 PM

    The giveaway is the extremely narrow, shaped DOF. In the first photo, you’ll notice that the area in focus is a circle-shaped area in the right/upper right. With a normal lens, the in-focus area would be a horizontal plane so that objects in the same plane would be in focus while planes/objects in front and behind would be out of focus. Instead in the first photo, you see areas to the right and left of the cars and people in the same plane are also out of focus.

  4. lukiss March 13, 2008 at 8:27 PM

    so, did Ben put Bobby on when they spoke of his technique – or are they in cahoots to add to the mystique?

  5. Liam March 14, 2008 at 2:05 AM

    The info on the site hints at such – these are not models, just ariel photography. The same effect was used in that Thom Yorke music video from last year you may have seen.

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