Not All Photographs Are Real
July 11, 2014 12:24 AM   Subscribe

Erik Johansson creates incredible illusions through photography.

Many of his images - including Landfall, Drifting Away, Cut & Fold, Cutting Light, and Set Them Free - include more details about his process of combining sets, photography, and digital art.
posted by Deoridhe (14 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
That is some amazing Photoshop mastery.
posted by zardoz at 12:46 AM on July 11, 2014

Wow. Great post. I wish there was more background info in how much prep work was taken with composition though
posted by Faintdreams at 12:57 AM on July 11, 2014

Amaaaaaaazing. Beautiful visual riddles, yum! And I love the explanatory videos and blog posts.
posted by taz at 1:34 AM on July 11, 2014

I wish there was more background info in how much prep work was taken with composition though

His YouTube channel has a ton of "behind the scenes" videos.

His works remind me of photorealistic takes on Jacek Yerka's style, and that's a wonderful thing. Not too cutesy or cliched, though something about Cut and Fold feels a bit like it could be more advanced stock art, which probably says more about the diversity in stock art than it does about Erik Johansson's subjects and execution.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:01 AM on July 11, 2014

I hate this crap, these 'Ooooooh wow, what if the snow were a quilt or like in the bottle floating in the water were a little landscape etc etc etc' because it always makes me think of some cut-rate revisiting of Escher by some stoner-wannabe twit with a computer. So I clicked on the link in order to confirm by biases and hatreds and, uh, these are really not bad.
This kind of 'Photoshop art' is so often so damn hackneyed and trite yet with these I thought the execution redeemed them. Really well made.
These are really nice illustrations.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:05 AM on July 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

Landfall is giving me vertigo.

Great work.
posted by Solomon at 4:12 AM on July 11, 2014

hmm... these look 'shopped. I can tell from some of the pixels and seeing quite a few 'shops in my time.
posted by Eideteker at 4:45 AM on July 11, 2014 [4 favorites]

Reminds me of magazine pharma ads where they can't come right out and tell you what the pill remedies so they let the illustration hint at your symptoms.

Or maybe these are the side effects? Ask your doctor.
posted by hal9k at 5:16 AM on July 11, 2014

"Why is Willy Wonka's chocolate waterfall in this Viagra ad?"
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 5:29 AM on July 11, 2014

The "Landfall" page says copyright 2014, but it looks incredibly familiar to me from a few years ago -- maybe he had an earlier version, or there was someone else who was playing with a similar concept? Regardless, that is my favorite image of the set because of how it plays with perspective.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:41 AM on July 11, 2014

Looks like all those Yerka links from 2003 FPP are dead. Try starting here.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:08 AM on July 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

These are lovely. His work reminds me of Chris Van Allsburg.
posted by sleepy psychonaut at 6:40 AM on July 11, 2014

I look at this gallery and then realize that there are all sorts of specialized photography--ie, nature, animals, theme, ie, the great depression, street photos, fashion, war journalist photos, etc. and I ask myself what I prefer in galleries of photographs...yes, I can say all that is good but that is like saying I like all food that is good when in fact I prefer Italian (when it is good).
One thing for sure: I dislike endless shots of cute kittens, which, for me, ranks up there with selfies of any kind.
posted by Postroad at 8:28 AM on July 11, 2014

Then I guess you don't much like Kitten Selfies!
posted by benito.strauss at 10:17 AM on July 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

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