We all are familiar with optical illusions – visual images that trick our eyes into seeing things differently than they are in reality.
Everyone remembers the spinning girl illusion or different ornaments that seem to be moving, while the image is actually static. But what happens when optical illusions are created using real photos, paired with excellent retouch skills, and vivid imagination? The result is really mind-blowing!
Erik Johansson, a talented Swedish photographer and retoucher based in Prague, Czech Republic, creates mind-blowing optical illusions by combining raw materials, creative photography, and Adobe Photoshop manipulations. As a result, he gets pictures that look extremely realistic but feel ‘impossible’ at the same time. It’s not surprising that his art is inspired by great surrealists such as Salvador Dali and René Magritte.
As Erik writes on his website, his artworks always start with a sketch, a simple idea. After that, he looks for the right place to shoot his photos, and this search may take from a few days to several months or even years! When everything is ready, he proceeds with photo manipulation, which, as he says, is like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. All this incredibly skillful and patient work results in mind-blowing optical illusions full of imagination and surrealism.
When Erik is turning an idea into reality, his main goal is to make it look realistic, no matter how surreal the scene is and how many ‘impossible’ objects it contains. As the photographer puts it, he strives to find ‘a way to capture the impossible‘. He never uses stock photos or computer-generated graphics. Every object in his works is a product of the photos he personally shoots.
Since it’s such a time-consuming process, the photographer produces around 8 images per year. As you can see, Erik’s work requires not only plenty of imagination but also a lot of planning and problem-solving.
Here are some of his best works that will blow your mind and tickle your imagination!
If you would like to know how these mind-blowing optical illusions made their way into life, watch the video below that shows the process of Erik’s work:
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