Photographer Breathes Life Into Natural History Dioramas

By on January 14, 2015

Hiroshi Sugimoto photographs natural history museum dioramas

Inspired by his first trip to the American Museum of Natural History, Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto has spent the last four decades delicately constructing black and white photos of natural history museum dioramas. He shot the scenes as though they were real, omitting the framing wall, avoiding glare and reflections to remove any indication that the subjects and habitat were not real.

The result is an elegant book that breathes life and depth into inanimate recreations of nature and human evolution.

Dioramas by Hiroshi SugimotoHiroshi Sugimoto: Dioramas

“Upon first arriving in New York in 1974, I did the tourist thing. Eventually I visited the Natural History Museum, where I made a curious discovery: the stuffed animals positioned before painted backdrops looked utterly fake, yet by taking a quick peek with one eye closed, all perspective vanished, and suddenly they looked very real. I’d found a way to see the world as a camera does. However fake the subject, once photographed, it’s as good as real.” – Hiroshi Sugimoto

BUY IT

Natural history museum diorama photography by Hiroshi

Natural history museum diorama photography by Hiroshi

Natural history museum diorama photography by Hiroshi

Natural history museum diorama photography by Hiroshi

Dioramas is available right here.

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