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All photographs by Erik Johansson. Used with permission.

Swedish and Berlin-based mixed media photographer Erik Johansson has created astounding work that is perhaps only surpassed by his remarkable process. We featured an image of his earlier on. At first glance, his surreal images – essentially landscape photographs transformed into something more magical - rouse wonder in people, and upon closer inspection, they are dressed to impress, with every minor detail considered and perfected.

It’s his process, however, that really had us at hello. While many Photoshop artists use stock images to create their art, Erik is going out of his way to make his photographs more realistic and entirely his own. He meticulously draws, paints, creates miniature sets and cardboard cutouts, and shoots different spots and locations himself, all the while paying great attention to every single detail, before blending all these aspects together in a single photograph.

Erik tells the Phoblographer:

“To me photography is a way to collect material to realize the ideas in my mind. I get inspired by things around me in my daily life and all kinds of things I see. Although one photo can consist hundreds of layers I always want it to look like it could have been captured. Every new project is a new challenge and my goal is to realize it as realistic as possible.”

Erik’s dedication to the craft is something we don’t see every day, which makes his work all the more inspiring. And with his painstaking creations, he actualizes images in his mind and molds them into something real for others.

As he points out, “I don’t capture moments, I capture ideas.”

See Erik Johansson’s breathtaking work and his behind-the-scenes videos after the jump.

To see more of Erik’s work, visit his website.
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All images by Giancarlo Rado. Used with permission.

“I’ve taken pictures for many years, my mother always told me that in her young years she was developing and retouching photographs in her cousin’s laboratory, and still colorizing portraits with special inks; so it was just a familiar tradition, which still survives in me even if I am a musician,” says Giancarlo Rado on how he got into photography. He explains that it’s like telling stories–and a story is what he’s telling in his series entitled, “Waiting for Summer.”

Toting around a Hasselblad SLR with a 80mm lens, Mr. Rado loves the square format. And when working on the series, he states that it’s like taking a portrait of a landscape. He believes in the existential idea that the earth, sky, and sea all connect along with ideals and feelings deeply involved in our minds when traveling to the beach during the winter. With that said, he often searches the beach looking for relationships that he thinks will evoke stories.

“I go to the beach mainly for the horizontal light that I know that soon or later will come. This light allows the evocation of shadows and situations particularly important for me,” states Mr. Rado. “I know very well the places where I shall go and sooner or later the expected situation will appear–like and astral conjunction of phenomena which may reflect feeling such as loneliness, fear, peace, quietness, and what else connected with the never fading border between interior and exterior world.”

Giancarlo’s photos evoke the sense of loneliness and indeed search for relationships. The series is after the jump.

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In today’s world of instant gratification and digital photography, we sometimes forget that there are some photographic processes that create beautiful results. One of those forms is large format photography–which often involves something bigger than a 4×5 inch piece of film. Photographer Lúis Plácido shared a video on Vimeo a while back of his process involving large format photography. After lugging out a huge camera and tripod, you need to then set the camera up, place a lens onto it, position your subject, focus the camera, insert the film, then shoot. But that’s not the end. There is still the whole development process that’s involved.

Check it out after the jump.

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All images by Oliver Blohm. Used with permission.

Photographer Oliver Blohm had a problem. He absolutely loves instant film. But as many photographers know not only is it tough to come by but it also has its problems. The older Polaroid film used to develop fairly quickly–as does the current available stock of Fujifilm instant emulsions. But according to him, the closest thing is Impossible Project film. However, the development time can take 30-45 minutes.

That’s longer than some folks’ lunch breaks! And with that in mind, Oliver set about trying to find a way to speed up the process. By using a microwave and a shield that is based on a wet carton and glass, he discovered a procedure that ended up shortening the development time back to two or three minutes. As a result though, you also get a more or less controllable process of destroying the film material which creates unique failures, textures, shapes, burns, etc.

He calls the series Hatzfraz/Fast Food.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art Lens Review product lead (1 of 1)ISO 4001-100 sec at f - 3.5

Sigma’s 50mm f1.4 DG HSM Art is the successor to the company’s previous 50mm f1.4 lens that was also held in very high regard. However, the new lens has been brought in line both in terms of design and image quality with the company’s new Global Vision–and specifically under its Art lineup. The focal length and aperture are an iconic one that many photographers swear by. In fact, many only shoot with this one lens.

But is Sigma’s 50mm f1.4 DG HSM Art offering enough to make you want to trade up?

Editor’s Note: Check out our first sample imagesfull review, and comparison posts against the 35mm f1.4 and 50mm f1.4 version 1.

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Chris GampatThe Phoblographer Sigma 50mm f1.4 sample images product (1 of 1)ISO 2001-100 sec at f - 5.0

We’ve been testing the brand new Sigma 50mm f1.4 II for a short while with the promise of a unit coming to us for a longer period of time later on, and so far we’ve been very impressed. The lens is being tested on the Canon 5D Mk II and performs pretty much as well as Sigma’s 35mm f1.4 DG Art lens. We’d also say that it is on par with the Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus though the Sigma lens tends to exhibit more purple fringing. However, that is easily removed in post-production.

Here are some sample images from the new lens. All portraits were done with the Phottix Odin and Mitros+ flash.

Editor’s Note: Check out our first sample images, full review, and comparison posts against the 35mm f1.4 and 50mm f1.4 version 1.

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