Home / PhotographyPhotographer Recreates Movie Scenes as Incredibly Detailed Tabletop Models

Photographer Recreates Movie Scenes as Incredibly Detailed Tabletop Models

Nick Busch Scale Model Photography of Lord of the Rings

When portrait photographer Nicholas Busch first became interested in model making two years ago, he never imagined where it would lead him. Now, he spends his free time creating landscape dioramas based on his favorite films and shooting stunning tabletop photographs. The result is a collection of incredibly detailed scale model photography that recalls the most memorable scenes of classic films.

Starting with a foam base, Busch uses a wide variety of materials to build out the familiar environments we see in movies like The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, and—his personal favorite—Lord of the Rings. The photographer’s first project was The Wizard of Oz, a film that captured his imagination as a child. It was a welcome challenge for him to build out and explore Dorothy’s world, and the results only pushed him to continue.

Once Busch finishes a diorama, which can take anywhere from one to three months to complete, he’s on to the photography portion of the project. Occasionally, this means going back and forth between adjusting the set and taking photographs, depending on how it turns out on camera. “The most challenging aspect of creating dioramas is making sure the landscape will provide me with proper composition in my final image,” Busch tells My Modern Met. “Unfortunately, if I miscalculate the height of the ground and it blocks certain parts of the image, I have to start all over. Getting the dimensions right can be extremely tedious with going back and forth with my camera and sculpting tools. Everything has to line up just right for the image to work.”

Lord of the Rings Photo Recreation by Nick Busch

Lord of the Rings

After taking numerous photos of the diorama, Busch uses focus stacking to create the depth of field he’s after. Then it’s off to the studio with his models to bring a human element to the scene. By using the same lighting setup and camera equipment, the portrait photographer completes his shoot and composites the model into the final scene, which ends up looking life-size.

For Busch, the personal project has been a way to stay creative and keep his love for scale models alive. “My intent has always been bringing back the authentic feel of a real set piece. There are truly gifted CGI and digital artist in the world; however, the art of scale model photography is something I wish I was able to see more of. I hope my art can open up the door to others to explore what is possible with scale model photography.”

Nicholas Busch creates detailed scale model photographs inspired by classic films.

Alice in Wonderland Scale Model Photo Creation by Nick Busch

Alice in Wonderland

Lord of the Rings - Mount Doom Photo Recreation by Nicholas Busch

Lord of the Rings

His work begins by building landscape dioramas to create a realistic environment.

Nick Busch Scale Model Photography of Lord of the RingsMary Poppins Scale Model by Nick Busch

He also photographs real-life models in his studio to composite into the final image.

Nick Busch Scale Model Photography of Mary Poppins

The result is a highly-polished photo that one would never imagine started as a scale model.

Nick Busch Scale Model Photography of Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

See more of Busch’s work to create classic films in miniature.

Nick Busch Scale Model Photography of the Wizard of Oz
Nick Busch Scale Model Photography of the Wizard of Oz

Wizard of Oz

Lord of the Rings Photo Recreation by Nick Busch
Lord of the Rings Photo Recreation by Nick Busch

Lord of the Rings

Alice in Wonderland Scale Model Photo Creation by Nick Busch
Alice in Wonderland Scale Model Photo Creation by Nick Busch

Alice in Wonderland

Nicholas Busch: Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Nicholas Busch.

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