Combining different realities in photography has always been a fascination of mine. The techniques to master the skill are hard to obtain and quite time consuming. But for those who perfect this, it is one of the most creative art forms in the digital age. Ted Talks had artist Erik Johansson do a six minute discussion on his techniques and style for his photographic manipulations.
Erik has numerous steps for combining different realities including the initial planning, sketching and blending of different pieces. Erik is also the photographer for most of his projects. With an overactive imagination, he definitely creates his own world. He states that for the image to have a successful composition, the most important things are color, shadows/highlights and perspectives. Once everything is blended together, it must all appear seamless to the viewer.
Now for those who are really good with this photo manipulation stuff, you should also check out iStockphoto. They have an ongoing contest for artists called the Steel Cage. The description of the contest from iStockphoto is, “The Steel Cage is the 800 x 600 pixel battleground where contenders test their design mettle, breaking down and rebuilding each other’s artwork for five grueling rounds.” Not only is there the thrill of victory if you are declared the best, but there is also a nice little cash prize. Some of the creativity that goes on during this contest is phenomenal.
This just goes to say, if you put a lot into Photoshop, you will definitely get a lot out of it. Practice, Practice, Practice. Eriks website can be found here. He applies his technique to a lot of personal works, but some of his commissioned art pieces are just as inspiring.