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Our #DCFocused_tinyshot challenge proves it’s a small, small world, after all

[nectar_dropcap color=””]O [/nectar_dropcap]ur photography challenge this month was inspired by Lorie Shaull’s miniature figurine photo shoot, which, in turn, was inspired by Slinkachu’s The Little People Project. The challenge was to grab an action figure, toy or trinket and get creative with forced perspective, bokeh and depth of field.

There’s almost no way not to have fun with this challenge, which is obvious from the responses to this assignment. Here are some of our favorites, which were posted in the DC Focused Facebook group.

1. Pablo Raw | Godzilla on the Rampage

forced perspective godzilla washington monument
© Pablo Raw


Pablo took his Godzilla toy (with movable limbs!) to the National Mall where he let it loose on some of our most cherished monuments. In this photo, he used “forced perspective” to make the miniature Godzilla look nearly as big as the 555 foot tall Washington Monument. A little post-processing made Godzilla look even more menacing as he blasts a bunch of tourists on Segways wth his death ray.

2. John J Young | Tiny Tourist

jack young
© John J Young


John used a small aperture to create a large depth of field, which allows the tiny tourist and the Statue of Liberty to remain in focus. And while it’s not the type of forced perspective technique that Pablo used, our perspective is skewed here because there’s nothing in the frame that allows us to get a sense of the actual scale of the tiny tourist.

3. Van Ngo | Timmy and Tommy


© Van Ngo


In this shot, Van takes exactly the opposite approach that John did. His wide-open aperture creates a very narrow depth of field, which throws both the background and foreground out of focus. Even Timmy (or is that Tommy?) is a little blurred just mere centimeters behind Tommy.

4. David Wissman and Miki Jourdan | Light and Shadow

David and Miki both show that the principles of light and shadow scale effectively to miniature figures. David used low key lighting to create drama and intense shadows on his tiny subject. In this shot, the light source is to the side of the subject and is placed so that the light falls off right at the subject and does not illuminate the background. Conversely, Miki lights his miniature ballplayers from the front and then positions them so that their shadows fall perfectly on the backdrop. As a bonus, the figures are also reflected on the chessboard.

5. Clif Burns and Lorie Shaull | Juxtaposition

One of the elements in play with all of these photos, of course, is fantasy. Photographing miniatures is all about stepping into worlds that our cameras and imaginations create. Clif and Lorie juxtapose their miniatures for these whimsical images. Clif’s dogs are gazing into a camera phone (which provides scale) at dogs that could very well be real, full-sized dogs because of the forced perspective. Lorie’s tiny gardener next to the “giant” blossoms shows us how much fun can be had with macro photography.

Multi-media story teller, non-profit do-gooder, international street photographer, serious poker player, intrepid traveler.