Impossible Photography by Erik Johansson: TED Talk

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A recent TED TALK by digital artist, Erik Johansson has raised a few eyebrows among the photography crowd for more than a couple reasons. While most will agree that his photography skills are far above average, critics argue that the real art behind his work comes in Photoshop. For those of you not familiar with Johansson’s work, he is a well know image manipulator that combines multiple photographs resulting in a single photograph that would be otherwise impossible to take with a camera. Watch the entire TED Talk here:

As you can see from his images, Johansson has set the standards pretty high in terms in impossible photography. During the introduction of his talk Johansson explains his style saying,

“I wanted to create something that starts when you press the button.  So, its more about capturing an idea rather than capturing a moment.The basics are quite simple, i just see it a parcel of reality where you can put it together to create an alternate reality.”

Johansson goes on to give viewers some tips on creating their own impossible photographs. He explains that realistic images require a lot of planning. Johansson suggests starting with a sketch of your idea then combining the images into one. His golden rules when creating an impossible photograph are broken down in three simple  guidelines:

  1. All of the images must be taken from the same perspective.
  2. All of the images must be taken using the same lighting.
  3. When combining the images, the results must be seamless. This means making it impossible to distinguish where the images begin and end.

impossible photophoto perspectiveserik johansson photography

Johansson was introduced to photography at age 15, when he was given his first digital camera. He has gone on to become a leader in digital art and photoshop manipulation. His art has been featured around the world and has inspired photographers everywhere to get know photoshop a little better.

For Further Training on Trick Photography:

This best-selling eBook has in-depth instructional tutorials on how to do similar photography tricks and photoshop effects. It can be found here: Trick Photography and Special Effects

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One Comment

  1. Laurence Killick says:

    Wonderful images and an exciting TED lecture

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