The art of diorama photography | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 17, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 17, 2017


The art of diorama photography

When it comes to displaying your precious model car collection, few ways are as rewarding as having a scale specific diorama. The idea of diorama displays were adopted from model train enthusiasts, who would often use model cars as a way of making their displays more realistic.

In Bangladesh, your options for purchasing dioramas are quite limited. RMZ makes a line of city-based plastic dioramas, with somewhat flimsy plastic bits fitting together to make up streetside cafes, bookstores, cinemas and more. The RMZ City line also comes with 1/64 scale cars, but if you want to display your high-end scale model in an accurate environment, it's better to custom build your diorama.

That's exactly what Saiful Hasan Tariq does. An architect and an educator by profession, Tariq has all the tools and the necessary modeling expertise to build dioramas. He's made garages, service stations and pit-lanes for almost all the different scales – it started with a desire to showcase and photograph his model car collection. Usually made of various styles of card paper, the intricate details require laser cutting and careful design and modelling. When actually making the diorama, machine shops used to make architectural models for students can come in handy.

Taking photographs of model cars placed on a diorama can be highly rewarding, especially if the models have tiny details that pop next to carefully crafted and placed boxes, wall art and other items that make up an authentic environment. Lighting is a crucial element in diorama photography, so light sources such as torches, table lamps and the flash feature on phones can be utilised properly if the diorama allows light in through windows, moveable roofs or other openings. Other elements like smoke, weathering effects and dust can be incorporated as well.

You don't need fancy camera equipment to shoot diorama cars either. A good camera phone with the right options can do the trick, same as a decent point-and-click made by the likes of Sony and Panasonic. The photos taken for this story were taken with an iPhone, so go figure.

Have an interesting diorama you've built or bought? Send us snaps, we'll show the rest of the world.

Photos: Rahin Sadman Islam 

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