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Mind-Bending Optical Illusions Created by Digital Manipulation and Layering [PHOTOS]

Is the man at his desk sitting inside or outside? Swedish self-taught photographer and retoucher Erik Johansson technically resides in Berlin, Germany, but really lives in a world of imagination. He brings this world to life through his digitally manipulated photographs of surreal scenes and optical illusions.

Johansson describes the three stages of his creative process. The most important stage is planning, beginning with a sketch and then carefully arranging sets in different locations. Next, Johansson completes his shoots and collects his material. The final step is combining the photos through layering. To Johansson, if the first two steps were done well enough, this third and final stage is the easiest, much like a puzzle.

On his website, Johansson explains his love for photo manipulation:

In the year 2000, when I got my first digital camera, I discovered that it was fun to change and modify photos… I started playing around with them on the computer and discovered photo manipulations. Once you learn the tools, it’s just the imagination that sets the limits.

Want to own your very own mind-bending photograph? Johansson’s incredible images are available for purchase.
 
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