You can do a lot of mind-bending effects in Photoshop these days with a few clicks of a button and many hours of retouching. Though Photoshop is part of his process, Swedish photographer Erik Johansson prefers to create his images as realistically as possible, which means photographing as many real, physical objects as possible, then using Photoshop to put all the pieces together without the use of CGI.
Johansson begins with an idea, and from there it’s a puzzle for him to solve – how to get all the various elements to come together as realistically as possible. Johansson tells Creator’s Project, “It takes just as much time to do something in real life as it does trying to ‘fake it’ in Photoshop, so I just thought it would be more fun to do it for real.”
His latest project, ‘Impact’ is a personal project that took months to create. The image is of a lake that cracks and breaks apart as it reaches land. To create the effect of the broken mirror, Johansson purchased 17 square meters of mirrors and broke them into pieces. Then he took the mirrors, a model, and a small fishing boat to a remote area to shoot the scenes. In Photoshop, Johansson then took various images and composited them all together – a total of 196 layers – which you can see in the 6-minute video below.
[Via The Creator’s Project]