San Diego Model Railroad Museum

The San Diego Model Railroad Museum ( is in Balboa Park in the basement of the same building that houses the very fine Museum of Photographic Arts

I love these things; old models, little towns, little people, little cars.  No offense intended to the Railroad Museum creators and staff but it seems twisted, skewed and tilted somehow. I photograph the Cabela's stores with the same frame of mind. My friend Jim Stone's first book was called "Stranger than Fiction" and this fits into that same category of simply being too odd to be real and too good to pass up. Some of the things I get to photograph I couldn't dream up in a million years but there they are, right in front of me, available for the price of admission.

I know exactly what got me interested in "miniatures". The first trip I took to Switzerland in the early 80's with my soon to be wife, who was Swiss, was to her home town of Lugano. One of the places nearby she took me to see was "Swiss Miniature". 

Swiss Miniature, Lugano, Switzerland

This was all of Switzerland laid out as a paid attraction in about an acre. It included the Alps, the lakes, the cities, everything. I loved it. I photographed it from an aerial perspective, standing above the displays the equivilent of probably a couple of hundred feet.  The trains and houses and streets that looked to scale were, of course, small. Photography, by being a system that frames everything, loses the ability to reference size without a reality check in the frame.

These were made the same way as the zoo reptile house pictures on the blog San Diego Malaise, by putting the lens of the camera right up against the glass. This minimizes reflections and can help to steady the camera.These were made hand held with the really wonderful Sony RX-100 camera.

You do remember that you can see these larger by clicking on one, don't you? And please, don't look at these on your phone! That is just too painful to bear. I would prefer the Apple 27 inch Thunderbolt display or maybe a large Eizo. But not your phone!

Thanks for looking. Comments always welcome. Email address on blog page.

Topics: San Diego

Permalink | Posted February 16, 2013