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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!

  • Chicken

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

    • cooper17

      yes it is, this is real life, it looks like a model

  • Yes

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

  • john

    is it real?

  • kt


  • mrmojorising

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

  • j

    how is this not an optical illusion?
    love these!

  • Superstar


  • Ray

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

  • Beef

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

  • mushhead

    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?

  • Injecter
  • nick

    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

  • nimpbus

    Thats how I learned how to do it with photoshop…


  • thomas h.

    they r all in real life

  • qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm

    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.

  • Jono

    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

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

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

  • strawka


    thats all…

  • Roomij

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

  • JonLeeM

    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.

  • http://www.youtube.com The Lion king kid


  • ayo

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

  • Anoonymouw


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

  • AnimalLova!

    That must of taken 20 years at least!

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilt-shift_photography Khristophoros

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


  • Kat

    O_O her patience amazes me

  • Maverick

    It’s part photography and part photshop

  • javonte

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

  • Benka

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

  • erica

    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! :)

  • Morbo

    The second picture reminds me totally of Enter the Void!

  • Sapphy

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

  • Dijonay

    Really cool! ! ! !

  • mariah

    Looks so real

  • Brandon

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

  • Jon

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

  • Brandon