Thursday Salute to Originals: Hyperrealistic Mini Worlds

Everyone loves a good landscape artwork. From painters like Jean-Baptiste and Claude Monet to the amazing photographs of Ansel Adams and Eliot Porter, we’ve been captivated throughout history. It is enchanting how we can watch a sun set over a hill or autumn leaves blow across a pond in a matter of minutes, yet we can capture these scenes with paintings and photos to gaze at for an infinite amount of time. When we look at landscape images, there is no doubt about what we are viewing. At least, there was no doubt until we discovered artist Matthew Albanese.

Matthew Albany creates series of Hyperrealistic Miniature Worlds out of everyday objects. Essentially, he uses items like spices, tree roots, food, and recyclables to create incredibly realistic and meticulously detailed landscapes which he then photographs. Below is a photograph of his scene How to Breathe Underwater consisting of walnuts, candle wax, wire, peanut shells, plaster, moss, toothpaste and so much more. To create the blue of the ocean, Albanese covered his camera lens with a strip of blue stretch wrap and used 11 different light sources.

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Albanese’s choice of camera is a key factor when capturing one of his “table top” creations. He must choose a lens allowing him to capture the tight spaces of each diorama and one that gives him unique vantage points. Albanese uses a mixture of photographic techniques like depth of field, scale, and white balancing, so his camera must be cooperative. The proper lens ultimately assists in creating the illusion of reality in any one of his scene’s photographs. This achieves his overall goal of creating something small that appears to be very large.

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While Albanese has proven himself capable of building his own fantastic landscapes, he doesn’t simply stop there. He has been called upon several times to photograph other landscapes created by different artists. In the video below, Albanese and his team collaborate with Sony Northlandz, who has created a large-scale, immersive railroad landscape with an unbelievable amount of detail. The team works to capture a scene where lightning strikes one of the trains.

Today we are saluting Matthew Albanese for making us second-guess and double-take. His skillful production of hyperrealistic mini landscapes trick the eye and blur reality by capturing what is right in front of him, using different angles to force a new perspective.

Sources: Matthew Albanese, Peta PixelVimeo