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Mini Noir Aficianado, Tobias M. Schiel // Empire of Lights

I breifly discussed one of Tobias’ images in my Toy Photography as Art post, but I’ve know of his work for at least a few years now and I truly admire the images he makes with miniatures. I knew I wanted to use his work as representation of modern toy photographers making artistic pieces, and in discussing that with him I felt like he needed a seperate post here for his words and pieces to truly shine.

Here’s what he had to say –

Before I took up toy photography, most of my pictures were abstract, and mainly black and white. Beyond abstraction, I’ve always been fascinated by light, as well as stark contrasts. I think this might explain why I feel so attracted to the aesthetics of Film Noir.

I am currently working on a series called Noir Suites, from which I have chosen to show a couple of pictures here. The suites focus on narrative – my vantage point being graphic novels – but the pictures should also speak for themselves independently of their contexts.

People often ask me about the light (or the lack of it), and I do not know a good answer. In a way, I start with darkness and the bring on the light. On one hand, darkness – utter blackness – adds some abstraction to the picture, which is something I do with brightness in my rather abstract work (see, for example, The Berlin Train series or Le città e la memoria), on the other hand, it literally puts the spotlight on the action, creating drama and contrasts at the same time.

The other thing – about inspiration: I try to keep my eyes open. And then I translate what I see into 1/87 scale. So the garage owes as much to real world experience as to watching too many crime movies.

Tobias M. Schiel (Empire of Lights), Noir Suites/


Tobias M. Schiel (Empire of Lights), Noir Suites


Tobias M. Schiel (Empire of Lights), Noir Suites


Tobias M. Schiel (Empire of Lights), Noir Suites

You can find more of his beautiful work here:

Make sure to give him some love in the comments below :)

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