For his second book, which he wrote with Gail K. Ellison, Smith takes us behind the scenes, showing us just how he creates such lifelike scenes. At the same time, he introduces us to his legions of fans, some of whom have over time become remixers, contributors, and inspiration for Smith’s work. With the publisher’s permission, we’ve included an excerpt from the book’s introduction.
After a photoshoot, rather than doctoring his images, he looks for the photograph that best conveys a sense of place, time, and emotion. “When I do a photoshoot,” he says, “It takes a couple of days for me to go through and find shots that have that certain something. I might add a filter or frame, but nothing is brought into the photo – no sunsets or other elements. The last thing I want is for someone to call me a fake.”
Elgin Park: Visual Memories of Midcentury America at 1/24th Scale offers a longitudinal perspective on Michael’s work, while illuminating his creative process and techniques, including mistakes and decision making. In looking behind the scenes, the book celebrates an unanticipated phenomenon: the birthing and sustaining of a community where millions gather to appreciate Michael’s talent while sharing their own stories – a benefit of the Internet in the 21st century.
Most of the modeling is done in Michael’s retro kitchen, which looks very much like it was transported from the ’40s and ’50s. As he says in his photostream, “No power tools, just old-school saws, drills, X-acto blades, and sanding blocks.” At nine by ten feet, the room is very cozy.
UPDATE (17.July 2015): For a 10 percent discount on the book, available exclusively for Hemmings readers, visit AnimalMediaGroup.com and use the promo code ELGINPARK.
Article courtesy of Hemmings Daily, written by Daniel Strohl.