Erik Johansson is a photographer and retouch artist. His weird and fantastic photo manipulations strike people with disbelief because his work looks real and deceptive. Photo manipulation is just that a creative art form technique that achieves an illusion or deception. Erick on the other hand calls this “Improving reality”. Now, what does he mean by that when he says “Improving Reality”? A photo on its own does not tell us a complete story, especially what a person is going through on the inside, so the photo manipulator modifies the reality to uncover the hidden psychological or conceptual meaning of the image.
It typically takes Erik a week to produce a photo from start to finish. He plans it out in sketch first, then goes out and shoots several photos in different locations, and lastly combines them in Photoshop. Although Erik does not draw any conclusions about the themes or style of his work, but careful examining most of his work I tend to see that his themes seem to be environmentally driven, with some psychological and conceptual inclinations of course.
One of Erik’s popular photo manipulations is the “The go your own road” piece, which shows a young man laying a road through wild grassy landscape. Conceptually it tells us that it is each person’s (hard labor) job to build a road for himself in this wild unpredictable environment, we call life. And those that do lay their own road, are the ones who become successful in life.
Photo manipulation/retouching techniques are used a lot in advertising and other modern venues to help deliver certain concepts and to communicate ideas.