Photo Manipulations are always very interesting to watch because – and that’s what is important – they give a realistic view of an unreal picture. Erik Johansson, a computer engineering student, from sweden has a sense for good ideas for manipulations.
While most people try to hide when they use Photoshop to brush up their pictures, here’s a young digital artist who quite obviously distorts images but does it so cleverly that we almost start believing in the amazing illusions he creates.
Unlike digital artists who find random pictures they can build upon, Johansson’s work is his own, 100 per cent. He comes up with an idea for a new image, sets out to take the pictures and then gets to work at them with imaging software. In many of his stunning images, he is even the model whose face gets distorted, who strolls through a summer landscape or is a mere marionette hanging by threads.
Johannson got his first digital camera at age 15 and even though he started manipulating the images he took early on, initially he did it solely for fun. Only when he bought his first SLR camera in 2007 did he start taking photo retouching and manipulations more seriously.
The young photographer draws inspiration from artists like M.C. Escher, Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte and others but also from photos and drawings he sees on the Net. He shares some advice on keeping the good ideas coming: “I think the most important thing is to make a note of every idea, otherwise it might be gone in a few seconds.”
In an interview with Don’t Panic magazine, Johannson explains the motifs behind his work:
“My goal is to make pictures as realistic as possible, but at the same time impossible. Many photographers try to look weird, so I try to make my shots as plausible as possible. I would say I try to use humour a lot and I rarely have a didactic message. Sometimes I want to tell something, but mostly I want people to interpret.”
We think what makes viewers connect so easily with Johannson’s work – apart from admiration for his incredible technical skill and attention to detail – is the fact that he pictures everyday scenes we all can connect with. Who hasn’t wished to simply iron out a kink in one’s character? Or to punch one’s own face after making a mistake? Or moving the road ahead for one’s own purposes?