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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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Mother Nature

Creating the Photograph is an original series where we interview photographers about a photo that they shot and how it was achieved. The results are some knowledge passed on to you. Want to be featured? Email chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com.

Tracie Maglosky is the first female Olympus Trailblazer; but beyond working with the company she is also a wedding and portrait photographer that hails from Cincinnati, Ohio. And for anyone that believes that only DSLRs can create great images that will please your clients at a wedding, Ms. Maglosky will surely prove you wrong. Tracie does what many true professional photographers do: work with ideas and creativity to give their clients the beautiful images that make their jaws drop. And that’s partially the concept behind the image above that was done for a maternity shoot.

Here’s Tracie’s story.

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All photographs taken by Josh Malik. Used with permission.

Nineteen-year-old Los Angeles-based photographer Josh Malik is proof that dreams do come true, if you persist. Teaching himself photography and the magic of Photoshop, this conceptual photographer left his small Indiana town life behind to pursue his passion in the big city, straight out of high school and with less than two years worth of experience to back him.

Today, he’s living a photographer’s dream. He’s now a household name on Flickr and is on equal footing with the Flickr celebrity photographers that have been his inspiration since the beginning. His signature dark, earthly, and surreal conceptual portraits have amassed him followers and fans by the thousands, and for perfectly good reasons. His images not only incredibly and beautifully tell the stories and themes he’s trying to convey but also effectively transform his subjects so that they often seem to become one with the elements of nature.

More of Josh Malik’s work after the jump.

Josh Malik is teaming up with Jenna Martin for an introduction to underwater photography workshop on September 20-21 in California’s stunning Catalina Islands. Spots are limited so sign up now. For more of Josh Malik’s work, follow him on Flickr and/or Facebook

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One of the hardest things for any photographer to do is to edit down their images to a select few. Whether they are images from a recent shoot or a body of work destined for a web gallery or portfolio, the process of editing is no easy task. It’s not something that’s taught alongside learning about shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

It’s an important skill to develop as a weak portfolio or web gallery can diminish the impact of one’s best work. Here are some suggestions that may help you to refine the way you evaluate, select and organize your best photographs.

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Kevin Lee The Phoblographer Tonality Product Images-7Converting everyday photos into monochromatic images requires a lot of fiddling around even in easy to use editors like Adobe Lightroom. The good new is that Macphun Software is out with a new piece of software called Tonality that helps users automatically create gorgeous looking monochromatic images.

Macphun Software claims it has developed a specialized 16-bit RAW processing engine that will intelligently process color images into contrast filled black and white frames. There won’t just be one preset look; Tonality includes a wide range of image styles and 20 types of emulated film. Plus the software promises to do this by adjusting the contrast and also the actual exposure in parts of the image for the best results.

On top of all the automatic assists, users will have a large set of tools to add their own textures plus pressure sensitive brushes and masking tools for precise edits. Users can blend multiple effect layers together with separate opacity controls and blending modes, all whilst preserving the color data of the original image.

Tonality is available now as a standalone app on Macphun’s web store or the Mac App store now for $24.99. Users can also opt for Pro version of Tonality for $69.99, which adds the option to use the software as a plugin with Photoshop, Lightroom, or Aperture plus more custom controls and tools. Hit the jump to see more images of Tonality in action.

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Getting the best color from your digital camera is an essential part of the photographic process. Though you may be tempted to use the automatic white balance setting of your camera or to let your editing software adjust color for you, neither may provide the best results.

Instead, it’s the making of conscious choices both in camera and in software that will really ensure that you are getting the best color. Here are some tips to help to achieve just such results.

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