Richard Tuschman miniature photography behind the scenes

Miniature Photographs That Will Blow Your Mind

by Barry AnderssonLeave a Comment

Richard Tuschman is an amazing photographer/artist. I ran across this article and thought there are so many good visual ideas that one can draw from his work it was worth sharing.

Tuschman builds dioramas of his sets and photographs real models and then blends the two into a sort of painting.

He is inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper yet finds a way to create his own style.

What is not to like about this story?

Whether you are a photographer or video professional take a look at the images he is creating. He is creating a master class for the visual medium in his small studio.

Check out all the things he is doing on a regular basis:

– Studying old photographs. He is not just looking at photographs but analyzing the composition, the positioning of the subjects and the film stock colors and effects.

– References great artists in history. He is constantly looking for a new color palette, a new way to shape the light or a myriad of other things he can take from the masters of other mediums before him.

– Lighting. He has 100% control of the lighting on the dioramas. He photographs the dioramas with a light he thinks he likes. Then tries to match the lighting when photographing the models and then reshoots the diorama's to improve the lighting. And this doesn't even touch what he does to improve the shadows and lighting in Photoshop. He probably spends more time studying and experimenting with light than most of us do in a year every day. Talk about mastering a craft.

– Colors and Texture. He gets to build his own sets, which I admit that most of use don't get to do on most shoots, but if we did would we know where to begin? He chooses every set piece, ever color – everything. He has to be able to envision everything for his creations to come to life. How often are you trying to create with that much involvement.

You should read the Q&A all the way through and see what speaks to you. Spend some time looking at his images and how they are done. How can you practice to make your images better?

Lastly Richard Tuschman was asked to give the Five tips for other artists to keep them going and inspired. His response:

Get enough sleep. Pay attention to what inspires you. Get into a routine of showing up in the studio and making images every day. Take time to reflect on and edit what you’ve made. Repeat.

As for staying inspired, read some fiction! That really feeds my inner life.

Words of wisdom we can all follow. Happy Shooting!


Miniature Photography by Richard Tuschman

Richard Tuschman may work with miniatures, but his art is anything but small. Seamlessly blending the life-size with the scaled-down, his photos create a sense of unease and otherworldliness. Couples appear together but are detached; they inhabit the same space but live in their own worlds.

Richard Tuschman miniature photography Pink Bedroom

From left to right: The diorama Richard built for his Pink Bedroom series; a photo shoot with the model who appears in Pink Bedroom (Daydream); and the final Pink Bedroom (Daydream) composition.


Via Inspire (Q&A with Richard Tuschman):

Gruenwedel: How do you put all the elements together?

Tuschman: First, I build the diorama, so I’ll know where the light is coming from and the rough point of view. Then I photograph the model against a neutral, gray background with the diorama in mind. While I’m doing the shoot, I keep track of the direction of the light source. Most of the time, the light comes through a window.

After I have the photographs of the live model, I go back to adjust the diorama, using little wooden mannequins as stand-ins for the live model so that I can match the lighting as closely as possible.

Next, I photograph the diorama. When I think I have the lighting right, I remove the mannequin and rephotograph the diorama so that I have a clean background to composite with the photos of the live model.

Richard Tuschman miniature photography behind the scenes


Gruenwedel: What kind of gear do you use?

Tuschman: I’m very low tech. I use a Canon EOS 7D with a Sigma 50mm f/2.8 lens to shoot the live models. When shooting the diorama, I usually use a 30mm lens to get a little more perspective.

When I first started, I was using big, continuous lights. That was cumbersome, so later I switched to Speedlight strobes connected to the camera. They give me more control and they’re easier to move around. All of the lighting in the whole Hopper series is artificial — except for one square image [By the Window], which shows Aria standing next to the window.

Read full article of Richard Tuschman's miniature photography work on Adobe “Tabletop Tableaux”


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(cover photo credit: snap from Adobe)

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