These incredible optical illusion car photos are driving TikTok wild

Forced perspective image making toy cars look full-size against natural surroundings
(Image credit: Anthony Schmidt/Future owns)

iPhone photography has come a long way since the first model launched in 2007. But we didn't think those two (or three) lenses were quite capable of magic until we set eyes on these incredible photos, which are driving TikTok wild.

Anthony Schmidt has amassed a sizeable following on the platform, and even Apple CEO Tim Cook is a fan. The secret of his awesome car photos is that they aren't real cars at all – rather, they're toys. (Check out the best iPhone 13 Pro deals if you want the best iPhone camera available right now.)

iPhone optical illusion photos

The final photo.... (Image credit: Anthony Schmidt)

iPhone optical illusion photos

...and how it was made (Image credit: Anthony Schmidt)

Using forced perspective (which employs optical illusion to make an object appear farther away, closer, larger or smaller than it actually is) and positioning them in real-life surroundings, Schmidt makes toy cars look like the real things. You can view more photos at his website.

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14 year-old Schmidt has already published a book of his photographs, titled Small Cars, Big Inspiration, described as "the remarkable story of a young man on the autism spectrum finding a passion in collecting and photographing model cars". And on World Autism Day this month, Tim Cook shared some of Schmidt's stunning iPhone photos (above). 


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It's no surprise that Schmidt's photos are proving such a hit on TikTok – while the finished photos themselves are stunning, it's the insight into the production process that makes the whole project so delightful. 

We've seen some awesome iPhone photography tricks lately, including the sunkissed editing hack that's all over TikTok – but Schmidt's forced photography photos might just be the most impressive yet. Check out today's best iPhone 13 deals below, and if you're in the mood for more mind-bogglers, take a look at our roundup of the best optical illusions around, and the best animal optical illusions.

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Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).