The Surreal World of Erik Johansson
Erik Johansson, born in 1985 in Götene (Sweden), he grew up in a farm with his parents and 2 sisters. As a kid, Erik Johansson always like drawing, his grandmother was a painter. He fell into computers really early, more into video games. At 15, he received his first photo camera and he immediately got into photography. Coming from computer to photography, he quickly tried to go into retouching his images. He started creating composition to capture what he couldn’t get in reality.
“I was born in April 1985 outside a small town called Götene in the middle of Sweden. I grew up on a farm with my parents and two younger sisters and I spent a lot of time in nature. For as long as I can remember I have liked drawing. Maybe because of my grandmother who was a painter. When my mom asked me how my day in school was I would rather draw a comic showing how it was. My dad got a computer for work already in the mid 80’s so I also early developed an interest in computers, mostly by escaping to other worlds through computer games. At the age of 15 I got my first digital camera, a very simple point-and-shoot Fuji film camera, but it opened up a new world to me. Being used to the process of drawing it felt quite strange to be done after capturing a photo, it wasn’t the process of creating something in the same way as drawing. You didn’t start with a white empty paper, once you pressed the trigger you were done. I early felt like I wanted to do something more to the photos and having an interest in computers made it quite a natural step to start there. I was playing around with the photos in the computer trying to create something that you couldn’t capture with the camera, mostly very basic modifications like changing color or putting my little sisters on our roof top. That is how my interest in photo manipulation started, I learned by trying but it wouldn’t become a profession until years later.
I was quite good at mathematics in school and liked the science behind how things work. I went for the natural science program in high school and in 2005 I moved to Gothenburg to study Computer engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. By that time I didn’t have any plans on doing the photography for a living, I couldn’t imagine it to be a real profession, it was just a fun hobby and didn’t really believe that fun and work could be combined. But during my time studying my friend Eric bought a DSLR (Canon EOS 350d). This camera was somthing completly different from the simple point and shoot cameras I had tried up until this point. I was out taking pictures with Eric a few times and it led to me also getting a DSLR (Canon EOS 400d) the year after. A pretty big investment at the time still being a student. I took up my interest for photography and photo manipulation once again but this time having a better camera I felt like I wanted to spend more time manipulating them as well. I had learned the basics already and started spending more time on each photo.