Sunday, December 19, 2010

Masterful Photoshopper

Erik Johansson of Norrköpin, Sweden, was featured in the January issue of Popular Photography magazine in a piece called "Optical Illusions: Making the impossible seem real," a special version of the magazine's regular feature called "Share My Project."

I was intrigued with Johansson's M.C. Escher-like "Common sense crossing":

and "Vertical turn":

Johansson describes his methodology for making these photos:
"To combine photos, you have to make sure [to] capture your elements in the same lighting and from the same angles, with the same shadows," he says. "To get multiple perspectives on a scene, I'll shoot from different elevations."

For ["Common sense crossing"], for instance, to combine the vertical lines of traffic with the horizontal lines, he had to shoot from different hills along the roadside, at a far enough distance to capture perlectly straight lines.

After a rough composite, he seeks out his final additions. He regularly collects a stock library of elements such as skies and trees, or textures from rocks and pavement. Other times it's simply a matter of more research.

The final stage of compositing them in Adobe Photoshop, he says, takes 10 to 30 hours. "Combining is less difficult when the photos are planned carefully in advance," he says.

Using up to 100 layers, he adds photos in piece by piece.
Go to Johansson's website to see many more photos, some of them whimsical, others rather mind-blowing.
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