Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Elgin Park: Visual Memories of Midcentury America at 1/24th scale by Michael Paul Smith, Gail K. Ellison

I am in shock and awe of what one man has done with a folding table, a toy car, and a doll house. This book is basically a behind the scenes look at how Michael Paul Smith builds his photography town of Elgin Park. What goes into making the houses and buildings. How he comes up with his backstory for the town. And a small introduction into the mind of a Photography Super Hero. Anyone who is into photography who sees this book will probably agree with me when I call him a Super Hero.

When I first saw this book I was thinking I was just going to get a book of photographs but I got so much more. I loved reading about how Michael Paul Smith came up with Elgin Park, how he builds his backdrops, how he twists a photo into a meaningful story.
I have a true love of photography.

I have well over 100,000 pictures on my hard drive I have taken myself but nothing like this. I see, I like, I take a picture of it. Michael Paul Smith see's with is imagination, takes a toy car from his vast collection, builds a house or building then goes out in the town he lives in to find the perfect backdrop for his photos. Whether it is a bridge, a set of trees, another building, or just in his driveway.

Michael Paul Smith has invented his own town called Elgin Park. He bases it on the town of Sewickley Pennsylvania, where he grew up.

Michael Paul Smith builds his own houses to 1/24 scale. He completely furnishes most of them all hand made mind you. He has thought of everything from the tiniest napkin holders in the diner to the tarps to cover cars.

His photos have no people but his captions added to each photo tells the story of the lives of the people in Elgin Park without their faces. Your minds eye can picture this town with people everywhere doing their day to day thing, shopping, working, kids playing, dogs barking whatever. It really makes you want to pack and move to this small imaginary town.

If you were to see these photos without knowing they were props you would think they were real life photo's taken in the 20's to the 60's when life was simpler. some of these photo's are taken on Michael's kitchen counter's but you would never know. Everything is done to scale. You cannot tell where reality and prop begin or end in the photo's. They look so real. This a a book I will be cherishing for years to come. I may even try some tips I learned in the book just to see what and if I can come anywhere near accomplishing even the tiniest bit of what Michael Paul Smith has.

I received this book from the Author or Publisher via to read and review.

No comments:

Post a Comment