In the end it’s just the imagination that sets the limits.
One evening I turned to TED to provide some entertainment, as you do, and stumbled upon Swedish photographer Erik Johansson’s exquisite talk on his “Impossible Photography“. I was blown away by how he could create an impossible scenario using different snippets of reality; it was intriguing. I approached him to see whether he would be willing to share some of his work with the Urban Times community, and here we are. Some words from the man himself:
I am self-taught in both photography and retouch. I discovered that it was fun to change and modify photos in the year 2000 when I got my first digital camera [at the age of 15]. For me the realism has always been very important and it’s a challenge to make a sketch come to life in a photo. In the end it’s just the imagination that sets the limits.
The first part is planning. Once I’ve come up with an idea that I think is good enough to realize I need to find the places I need to shoot to put the photo together. This can take anywhere between a few days to several months, sometimes years. This is the most important step as it defines the look and feel of the photo, it’s my raw material. This step also includes problem solving, how to make the reflections, materials etc. realistic.
The second part is shooting/collecting the material. I never use stock photography in my personal projects, I always want to be in complete control of my photos and feel like I’ve done everything myself. It limits me in a way that I can’t realize all ideas I have, but limitations are good sometimes to define the work. A similar light and perspective is extremely important to create a realistic result when combining the photos.
The final part is putting the photos together. This takes anything from a few days to several weeks. This is actually the easiest step, if I did a good job in the first and second step. This part is like a puzzle, I have all the pieces, I just need to put them together.
A short summary of the tools I use to create my photos:
- Camera: Canon EOS 5d mark II
- Lenses: Canon EF 24-70/2.8L USM, Canon EF 17-40/4L USM, Canon EF 70-200/4L USM and some prime lenses.
- Flashes: Elinchrom RX600 and Canon flashes
- Computer: Home-built PC, Windows 7 64-bit, Eizo Coloredge monitors.
- Software: Adobe Photoshop CS5, I use no 3d-software which some might think