Awesome illusions by Erik Johansson (9 pictures)
Erik Johannson is a self-taught photograher who learned how to retouch photos to make impossible and extraordinary images. Growing up with a grandmother who painted and a penchant for escaping into the other worlds of video games, he naturally blended the two into a technique using computers to generate images that couldn’t be captured by a camera.
Erik writes about himself:
My name is Erik Johansson, I was born in 1985 outside a small town called Götene in the middle of Sweden. I grew up on a farm with my parents and two younger sisters. For as long as I can remember I have liked drawing. Probably because of my grandmother who was a painter. Early I also got interested in computers, escaping to other worlds in computer games. At the age of 15 I got my first digital camera which opened up a new world. Being used to drawing it felt quite strange to be done after capturing a photo, it wasn’t the process of creating something in the same way. Having an interest in computers made it a quite natural step to start playing around with the photos and creating something that you couldn’t capture with the camera. It was a great way of learning, learning by trying. But I didn’t considered it as a profession until years later.
In 2005 I moved to Gothenburg to study Computer engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. During my time studying I took up my interest for retouch once again. I had a lot of ideas that I wanted to realize and I saw it as problem solving trying to make it as realistic as possible. After publishing some of my images online I started to get requests about commissioned work from some local advertisement agencies. I started out freelancing in parallel with my studies while still working on personal projects. I got more and more jobs and at the time I finished my studies with a master in Interaction Design I felt like I rather wanted to try out the photography path. I moved to Norrköping in the eastern part of Sweden to start working full time as a freelance. I made new friends and got to work on interesting projects, both local and abroad. In early 2012 it was time for something new as I moved to Berlin, Germany. A very artistic city with lots of inspiration.
Today I work with both personal and commissioned projects, in 2011 I also started doing photography street illusions and in 2013 I plans to start working on the film side. In November 2011 I spoke at the TED conference in London about my images and in May 2013 at the Adobe MAX conference. I’ve been working with clients such as Google, Adobe and Microsoft but the personal work and concepts will always be what’s most important. Growing up on the Swedish countryside had a big impact on my visual style. A lot of the environments in my photos are captured near places I know, around my parents’ home with wide open landscapes and small red houses. Inspiration is everywhere and what you can imagine is what you can create.