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A dark-haired teenager in a leather jacket stands in front of a small table, the surface of which is stylized as pavement slabs. On the table there are several models of classic cars - from brand new, shiny fresh paint and chrome surfaces to old, rusty and tattered. The teen has an iPhone in his hands, with the help of which he creates almost all of his artwork.

This guy's name is Anthony Ryan Schmidt, and by the age of fifteen he has become famous not only in his native Seattle, but also far beyond the state. The thing is that with the help of a phone and car models, Anthony creates real magic.

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annhotchkiss avatar
Shameless Hussy Review
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think it works best to scroll to the finished photo first and then back up to see the actual scene.

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Doug O
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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Adding tire tracks in the dirt is an impressive attention to detail

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Anthony not only shoots models of cars - he carefully chooses the location for shooting, compares the stand on which the model is located with the surrounding buildings and nature, and then shoots in such a way that it is almost impossible to understand that the photo is not a life-size auto, but just a toy.

Despite his young age, Anthony is already an experienced photographer, having been shooting cars since the age of six. Moreover, on his website you can see two coffee table books, marking the main milestones in his art. The first, called Small Cars, Big Inspiration, includes pictures taken by Anthony between the ages of six and twelve. The second, Shifting Perspectives, is a collection of more recent images taken over the past two years.

To release his first book, Anthony raised $45K on Kickstarter two years ago from over 750 people, and has since sold over four thousand copies of the collection. The photographer also creates photo calendars, postcards, T-shirts, and greeting cards, which can be purchased on his website. As of today, the Facebook community dedicated to Schmidt’s work has 137.6K members, and over 134K people are subscribed to his Instagram page.

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"It's common for people with autism to have a special interest, and for me, that was always cars," Anthony is quoted by My Modern Met with the help of his mom, Ramona Schmidt. "I was amazed at how real I could make it look with the right camera angle and background."

Today, Anthony has more than three thousand different models of 1:24 and 1:18 scale in his personal collection, and he spends hours in his studio in his parents’ house outside Seattle, painting them, rebuilding, and achieving maximum realism - for example, adding rust on purpose. Schmidt buys some of the exhibits of his collection himself, while some are sent to him by numerous fans of his art from all over America.

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Ideas for new staged shots can come to Anthony spontaneously, and some of them he specifically selects for serial shooting. For example, he recently put together a special photo series dedicated to school parking lots. After choosing a location, careful preparation follows, which sometimes lasts for months. You need to evaluate the right shooting angle, choose the proper background for the stand, and work out a miniature subject plan so that the small model looks seamless against the backdrop of large buildings and cars.

"It's really incredible work, and when the author finally presses the shutter button, a long process is crowned," says Ivan Strahov, a Ukrainian photographer who was asked by Bored Panda to comment on our story. "Many decades ago, Kodak became famous worldwide for the brilliant slogan 'You Press the Button, We Do the Rest'. Here, too, something similar happens, only 'the rest' is thought out by the photographer himself, even before the button is pressed. And it is truly impressive."

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"In fact, my hat’s off to the author for the incredible research and inspiration behind each of these shots. After all, you need to do a titanic job, choose the right natural light, calculate the shooting angle so that the model does not look overly ‘toy’, and add realistic touches to each car. In the end, the atmosphere of each shot is impressive, like the idea behind them," Ivan admits.

In a backstage video of his work that Anthony posts on Instagram, for example, you can see how he sprays water over a pickup truck model standing in a miniature garage to recreate the effect of gasoline vapors - and a fluorescent lamp shining brightly through the window on the roof literally makes us believe that we ourselves have just widely opened the doors of a real garage on an early fresh morning somewhere in the deep countryside. So, step by step, frame by frame, real photo magic is created...

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Anthony has always loved cars and now owns two real ones - a 1957 Ford Custom 300 donated by one of his devoted fans, and with incomes from his calendar sales, the teen recently bought a 1959 Studebaker Silver Hawk. Now the car is being repaired by local mechanics, and Anthony is posting videos of the restoration process on his social networks. And, of course, he shoots. Shoots a lot.

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In his own words, Anthony likes to watch the evolution of cars - from early models at the dawn of the automotive industry, to cutting-edge electric autos. Perhaps the photographer would love this our selection of the very first and latest models of famous car brands, or maybe you will enjoy it as well. And of course, please feel free to scroll this list to the very end, and share your impressions in the comments below!

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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I always went to this place as a kid. There's an annual car show, then I'd get root beer. We even went to visit Santa here!

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11 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Anthony is one of the most talented people I know. His house is absolutely filled to the brim with gorgeous model cars. He has such a passion for this and I'm so grateful to be his friend :)

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