Erik Johansson creates surreal image with a lot of planning, broken mirrors, and Photoshop


posted Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 6:58 AM EDT


Some images take a lot of planning, time, and work to execute. One such example is Erik Johansson’s creation, Impact. In the video below, Johansson discusses the process and goes through his workflow for creating a surreal image like this.

Not only does the video provide a fascinating and in-depth look into just how much work goes into creating an image like Impact, both in the field and on the computer, but it is a really well-done piece as well.

Erik used a Hasselblad H5D-40 for the project and filmed video with a 4K GoPro camera. When it was all said and done, his file in Photoshop had a whopping 196 layers and was an enormous 7.63GB.


A photo posted by Erik Johansson (@alltelleringet) on

On his website, Erik says this his process is divided into three distinct parts. First, he does a sketch of an idea, such as the one below. Once he has the concept, he starts the planning process, which can take a few days to a year to find the right places and times to get the shots he needs for the final image. Then he shoots and collects the necessary images and materials. After this, he has to put it all together, which "…is the easiest step, if I did a good job in the first and second step. This part is like a puzzle, I have all the pieces, I just need to put them together," says Johansson.

Erik Johansson's sketch for "Impact"

Check out the video below from Adobe to hear Erik talk about his inspiration and process.

To see more of Erik Johansson's work, visit his website. To see more behind-the-scenes videos of his images, see here.

(Seen via ISO 1200