Collecting model cars is one of the most economical ways to indulge a love of automotive design. Small, relatively inexpensive and often highly detailed, the replicas offer a chance to amass a Jay Leno-like garage in the space of just a few shelves. Photographer and model builder Michael Paul Smith has transformed these miniatures into art while depicting nostalgia and maybe just a touch of fear of a bygone era.

Smith uses 1:24 scale model cars, miniature buildings that he makes and some forced perspective photography to capture images that look like snapshots from an old photo album. He calls the town that these vehicles inhabit Elgin Park and imagines the place as a fictional version of the 1950s. With a narrative going on behind the scenes for each vignette, Smith clearly has an artist's eye for composition and makes his tiny creations look like the real world on film.

A book collecting Smith's Elgin Park photos goes on sale later this year, but this video promoting it is really more of a fantastic, short documentary exploring the artist's troubled childhood and the inspiration behind his work. Even if the wonderful photography doesn't grab you, then his fascinating story might.


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