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By on September 22, 2006, with 40 Comments

If your memory serves you right, and if you are frequent visitor of Mighty Optical Illusions, you will remember our previous post titled: “Model World by Olivio Barbieri“. This set of pictures was taken with same tehnique, that makes real-life pictures of Las Vegas and other big cities look like scaled model, or some kind of toy world. Open this article, and enjoy! You will find more photos from Olivio, Miklos Gaál… but also work from other authors as well!

Toy World by Olivio Barbieri & Miklos Gaál
Toy World by Olivio Barbieri & Miklos Gaál
Toy World by Olivio Barbieri & Miklos Gaál
Toy World by Olivio Barbieri & Miklos Gaál
Toy World by Olivio Barbieri & Miklos Gaál
Toy World by Olivio Barbieri & Miklos Gaál
Toy World by Olivio Barbieri & Miklos Gaál
Toy World by Olivio Barbieri & Miklos Gaál
Toy World by Olivio Barbieri & Miklos Gaál
Toy World by Olivio Barbieri & Miklos Gaál
Toy World by Olivio Barbieri & Miklos Gaál


40 Responses
  1. Chicken says:

    Well, it’s not really an optical illusion, but it’s quite cool.

  2. Yes says:

    Does it have something to do with the blurring? It really looks like a model.

  3. john says:

    is it real?

  4. mrmojorising says:

    stunning. absolutely stunning!
    how do they do it?!

  5. j says:

    how is this not an optical illusion?
    love these!

  6. Superstar says:


  7. Ray says:

    I’d like to know the details of the camera/kit/lenses/technique he uses.

  8. Beef says:

    Well, it’s not really cool, but it’s quite an optical illusion.

  9. mushhead says:

    How is this not an optical illusion?
    It looks like one thing, yet is something else.
    Surely that is the definition of an optical illusion?

  10. nick says:

    They are made with a tilt lens – the technique or ability to take such shots has been around for over 100 years with view cameras (the big ones with the upsidedown finders and the sheets’n'wotnot) –

    The apparent illusion is that we are all used to associating very small depth of field with macro photography, with a tilt lens you are able to replicate this very narrow depth of field in non-macro photography … (you are also able to make macro shots have a much larger DOF thereby making smaller thing look larger) – shift is another techinique with different but complimentary effects – hence, the tilt/shift lens …

    There would be no illusion without this condtioning

  11. nimpbus says:

    Thats how I learned how to do it with photoshop…


  12. thomas h. says:

    they r all in real life

  13. qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm says:

    I just got back home after driving around for an hour cause some stupid German officials wouldn’t let me in my house cause of some stupid parade! These illusions are cooland all, but somehow you can tell they are miniature. I don’t know why.

  14. Jono says:

    He blurs out areas in a gradient from a “focal” point. This gives the impression that a macro lens is being used i.e. taking a picture of something very small on a high magnification which in turn makes the focal length smaller in proportion. A wide angle of anything gives a large focal area while zoom(magnification) gives a small area. Easy enough to do and very effective. J

  15. Anonymous says:

    These are really marvelous. I really love these. Years ago, I used to take two photographs side-by-side, sometimes aerial, so they could be viewed stereoscopically. They would look very similar to these, only in 3-D. I got the idea as a reversal effect to what I’d already been doing with miniature models, by taking side-by-side shots very close together to make them look big in stereoscopic viewing. 3-D photography of any kind was very big as a specialty genre back then. Maybe, when Olivio is up taking pics or at any level like street level or indoors, he can take two side-by-side pics as he does them here with the lens to have them combined in steroscoping viewing to enhance the effect.

  16. Anonymous says:

    im having a hard time believing the third photo down is a real photo of a real city. the road looks way too smooth and even. as in there are no cracks or blotches of color. the others, however, seem very real.

  17. Anonymous says:

    thats Rubbish!!!!!!!!
    on most if you loookat the people or the buildings you can soooooo tell thy are models!

  18. strawka says:


    thats all…

  19. Roomij says:

    Made in Holland :) in me country we have a park like that, so it’s al fake :P

  20. JonLeeM says:

    These pictures were taken with a tilt-shift lens. Look ‘em up on Google. The Macro effect is just one of the things you can achieve with such a lens.

  21. ayo says:

    wow when i first saw these i thought the first and second pix were real, but the others i could tell were models

  22. Anoonymouw says:


    these are REAL PICTURES made to look like models!!! read wut vurdlak says!

  23. AnimalLova! says:

    That must of taken 20 years at least!

  24. Its called tilt-shift photography. The Wiki explains this fairly easy process.


  25. Kat says:

    O_O her patience amazes me

  26. Maverick says:

    It’s part photography and part photshop

  27. javonte says:

    thats cool its a difficult to make toy land and its not photoshopped

  28. Benka says:

    Hm that guy/girl has a lot of spare time ;D

  29. erica says:

    Personally, I’d be freaked out to sit in a room with this art. I’d be constantly imagining one of the figures moving or something! :)

  30. Morbo says:

    The second picture reminds me totally of Enter the Void!

  31. Sapphy says:

    These look so much like real life places!!! They are so cool

  32. Dijonay says:

    Really cool! ! ! !

  33. mariah says:

    Looks so real

  34. Brandon says:

    It’s simply a tilt shift lens on a digital camera.

  35. Jon says:

    The Bus one and The construction one are cool, the rest were poorly done. to much detail to fade without matching dimensions.

  36. Brandon says:


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