12. Value of a photoshopp-ed photo

Previously, I was posting about how and why Photoshopped images being used in advertising.
It let viewer to see the ‘ideal’ or even manipulated the ‘reality’ but give a clear and strong message to the viewer.
So, what about the value of an Photoshopped image?

There’s a lot of photographers who manipulate photos into fantasy style and make a living from this kind of technique.

One of the famous photographer that makes a lot of surreal photos- Erik Johansson.
He inspired by great surrealist artist – SalvadorDali and René Magritte and he self learn in photography and retouching.
He works for a lot of famous companies such as Google, Adobe, Microsoft and so on.
Below are few of his artworks,
bild8 bild1 bild5bild7
I really love his works , the realistic and imaginary objects/actions were well combined together.
He mentioned in his interview with the creation project that each elements in the photos are taken individually by him and piece it together.
If the objects can be taken in a better lighting , it creates a pretty photo and when it combine with others, it shows more realistic view.
As you can see from his works that the photo he create are mostly related to reality’s object and twisted their logic because he usually get his inspiration from things around him in daily life.

Try to see ideas in everything you see, question logic. It’s also a lot about being able to realize it and in the end that is just about spending a lot of time in Photoshop learning from your mistakes (Erik.J ,2014).

In the end, this shows that one still have to let Photoshop correct your ideas because things that you imagine wouldn’t look the same in reality. Photoshop able the user to combine and see whether it fits , if not, correct it with lighting or combine with other elements. Even it fits, one still have to keep on trying because each elements can provide a different type and feels of the image.

Unlike the WWF photos that I’ve shown in my previous post, Erick mentioned that he don’t really add hidden meanings in his artworks, he focus more on visual aspects and the images that reflected his thoughts (Erik.J ,2014).

So I guess it’s more up to the viewer to see the message in that sense. When I would read children’s books as a kid, I rarely read the text. I just wanted to look at the pictures and create my own story. People should be able to do the same with my pictures. I merely want to give it a title and not talk too much about the message of the picture (Erik.J ,2014).

Even thought is more on aesthetic view, one photo still can tell a lot of story to different people depends on their perspective view.
Now,let’s stick back to ‘value’.  In my opinion, his artworks contain a high value because he took a lot of time on creating one photo , months to think of an idea and collect materials and after that,took hours to edit them together. His editing skills used in those artworks are quite advance too, he understand how the light and shadow works and make the objects seem to blend in and give a realistic looks. The other thing that caught my attention is that his ideas are creative and unique, element inside are ordinary but he twisted the logic. I couldn’t see any message from those artworks but I felt ‘wow’ the moment I sees it.

So, after seeing all the photos above, what do you think about the photo below?
Does it provide any ‘value’ to you?

When lecture shown me and my classmates the photoshopped image above by a Malaysian artist Yee I-Lann that sold for rm117,000.00 in Hong Kong (Andrew, S. ,2008), my classmates shown a huge shock and disappointed reaction. I can understand and expected those reactions the moment I saw this.
I am proud that a Malaysian artist can sold this much for an artwork but I couldn’t accept it, I couldn’t appreciate the artwork.
It’s not about how this result can be easily achieved in Photoshop , is just that I couldn’t understand and sees the value in this piece of artwork. Not only I don’t get the idea or message, I don’t even feel anything from the aesthetic view.


Andrew, S. (2008). Whither Malaysian art?. The STAR Online. Available at: http://www.thestar.com.my/story/?file=%2F2008%2F11%2F23%2Flifearts%2F1838390 %5BAccessed 19 Jun. 2015].

Johansson,E. (2011). Impossible Photography. TED. Available at: http://www.ted.com/talks/erik_johansson_impossible_photography?language=en [Accessed 21 Jun. 2015].

Mark (2014). Interview with Erick Johansson. ShotKit. Available at: http://shotkit.com/interview-erik-johansson/ [Accessed 21 Jun. 2015].


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