Interview with Photo Manipulation Master Erik Johansson

Photo Manipulations are always very interesting to watch because - and that's what is important - they give a realistic view of an unreal picture. Erik Johansson, a 23-year-old computer engineering student, from sweden has a sense for good ideas for manipulations.

Photo Manipulation by Erik Johansson

1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer?

I am studying computer engineering and right now I am studying my masters program in Interaction Design. It is about how to interact with the user and make computers more user friendly. It does not have much to do with me photographing, that is something I discovered later. I got my first digital camera when I turned 15, I did some changes to the photos and thought it was fun. But I really started in 2007 when I bought my first SLR camera. That is when I started to do some serious photo manipulations.

Photo Manipulation by Erik Johansson

Photo Manipulation by Erik Johansson

2. Your manipulations are pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from? How do you come up with the ideas?

That is a hard question because I can't really tell. The inspiration is everywhere in the daily life, but I also look a lot at photos and drawings on the web. I think the most important thing is to make a note of every idea, otherwise it will might be gone in a few seconds.

Photo Manipulation by Erik Johansson

3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design?

I always have a sketch of the final idea. But it always end up different, in a good way mostly. When I have come up with an idea I try to find good spots to use for the photos and then it's time for the photoshopping. The time it takes differ, but somewhere between 10 - 20 hours for each photo.

Photo Manipulation by Erik Johansson

Photo Manipulation by Erik Johansson

4. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software?

My camera is a Canon eos 40d mostly used with the Canon 17-40/4L. The computer I use has a Intel i7 processor, 6 gb ram and a Asus Radion 4850, the monitor I use is a Eizo 22". For the software part I use Vista 64-bit and Photoshop cs4, no 3d-software.

Photo Manipulation by Erik Johansson

5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer?

It's hard to always be creative, but it is a creative job.

6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example?

Yes, sometimes I get stuck in thinking about what kind of ideas I could do with the things I see around me. But I have learned to relax more now.

7. What are your coming projects?

The future will tell, but I might need a fish in one of the projects. I also have an idea about streetlights that I probably will realize soon.

Photo Manipulation by Erik Johansson

8. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why?

Tricky question. - a swedish photo community - a swedish photoshop website - good for inspiration - good for inspiration - the swedish weather service, important to see if it's photo or photoshop weather (-:

9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers?

Trying is a good way of learning, that is how I have learned most of the things I know. Thank you too.

Where to find Erik Johansson on the web - Personal website - His profile in a swedish community

More work of this artist

Photo Manipulation by Erik Johansson

Photo Manipulation by Erik Johansson

Photo Manipulation by Erik Johansson

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Alexis Papageorgiou


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