Watch As Photographer And Digital Artist Erik Johansson Creates A Gorgeous And Surreal Landscape Scene

We've featured Erik Johansson's Ted Talk before, as he is a digital artist and photographer who is on the cutting edge of his genre. Using clever pre-visualization and a lot of Photoshop, Erik is able to create some brain-melting pieces. In this BTS video, he'll show you how he created one of his newest pieces, titled Cut & Fold. Be sure to check out Erik's Website if you haven't before, it's well worth a look for any aspiring creative.

Log in or register to post comments


Ett Venter's picture

That's absolutely incredible. I honestly don't have the words to describe how my mind has just exploded. I feel like my brain is melting.


Trevor Henry's picture


W van de Kletersteeg's picture

All I wonder is: was photographing that piece of paper really necessary? OMG with that enormous amount of post processing it seems like it would've been just as much work making the entire thing in post :) Respect!

W van de Kletersteeg's picture

I want to have those "Enhance" buttons on my wacom! A one button enhance feature. Oooohhhh ;)

Rob Moody's picture

At what point do we go from photographer to graphic design...? Call me a purest maybe, but it's no longer a photograph if that much post is required. Mad Respect to the guy but no longer a photograph.  

But if he wasn't a photographer he wouldn't have the skills to get his base materials to create this. He is a photographer AND digital artist, its not an either or thing. So maybe its not a pure photograph, but it is photographic digital art, and needs an even wider skill set than pure photography, he had to photograph with his end result in mind, and get proper exposure etc just like any other photo. And unless the point is journalistic, at what point do we care that how much post processing went into it, as long as the end result meets the purpose of the creator and the creator doesn't present it as an example of something it is not. In this example it would be pretty hard to misrepresent it and he even shows his process, so I just think it is cool :)

Valmar Voolaid's picture

where is that slow motion button when you need it?

David Crockett's picture

Not that impressive. He could have easily... in fact MORE easily done the same thing without taking the picture of the paper. that was just a waste of time.

I think the paper gave a really clear guidelines as to where it would be in real life. Perspective on a wide angle shot with curving, off-axis planes would be tricky to make it look right. With as much work as went in, why take chances? Physical models, mockups, and prototypes give valid input. 

Trevor Henry's picture

I wouldn't say it was a waste of time. Many people have trouble visualizing shapes in 3-dimensions, and arguably if he had not used the reference photo (that probably "wasted" about 5 minutes of his time) there are a million outcomes he could have landed on that would have looked incorrect perspective-wise, and since he's already pushing the boundaries of one's imagination you need to have those visual basics down pat. Not to mention the amount of time he potentially saved by not having to rejig a fold like that a thousand times until it looked acceptable. I think a certain Davey needs to come down off his horse. :)

wicked awesome!

Nicole DeCell Kossum's picture

I want the enhance feature on my wacom, too. Haha. That was incredible, kudos to the photographer/designer! 

Jays Domingo's picture

great imagination. and more amazing is he was able to show it through his art. bravo!

That was brilliant, I love his minor touches like the dirt falling off the tip of the bend, and the detail on the tree roots, etc. It really puts it all together well!

Octavio Gomes's picture

and you say you know how to use photoshop...

David Crockett's picture

I do think his ideas are very creative and the finished products are great.

Tam Nguyen's picture

what photoshop sorcery is this?

awesome work and concept.

I admire his patience :O 

Simon Whitehead's picture

Really really fantastic piece again, Mike. The guy's got mad skills. Regarding the piece of paper, it's a quick, easy way to make sure the lines and shadows are bang on - totally understand why he did it.

Seagram Pearce's picture

So awesome. His use of paper is really clever! Get "real" shape & shadow dynamics without having to guess.

All the folks bitching about "its not real photography anymore" bla bla fish paste: go live with your grandmother & be old there.

Fantastic and fun to watch!

A nice photosphop lesson. Even if I'm sure I can do it as well, it's always interesting see videos like this. Thank you..

Mads Eneqvist's picture

Please provide me with some of his monster creativity pills. I am speechless. Awesome video.

Really well done! I'm glad they thought about filming the process behind an image like that, it helps make people aware of how much work goes into a piece like that.

sigh... there is always at least one negative nancy. i think it was awesome!

This is awesome!