EYE ON DESIGN PORTFOLIO INTERVIEW
ERIK ALMÅS STUMBLED UPON PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHANCE.
SINCE THEN HE HAS DAZZLED THE WORLD WITH HIS
PHOTOMANIPULATION AND COMPOSITING SKILLS
rik Almås is a brilliant commercial
photographer and master of compositing,
who believes in the importance of putting a
little bit of yourself into your work.
Like a true composer, Erik plans his shoots in
order to achieve the dramatic effects that he desires.
Creating enchanting imagery is a process that Almås
truly loves. The ability to create visual stories that the
viewers can be drawn into is what sets his work
apart from other photographers.
WHAT DREW YOU TO PHOTOGRAPHY AND
HOW DID YOU MASTER YOUR TALENTS?
It was not one thing that drew me to photography,
but I somehow ended up with it. A lot of different
people and events helped, together with my
curiosity, [to] shape my interest and career
I by no means consider myself a master of my
talents. I’m still a student of a craft that is
exceptionally rich and layered. Through this study
there have been great teachers and of course
classes that have helped me hone my abilities.
Creative portraiture might have been the most
important among them as it truly opened my eyes
to photography and shifted my intentions from
becoming a sports photographer, taking pictures, to
being a photographer making pictures.
YOU ASSISTED JIM ERIKSON FOR THREE
YEARS. WHAT ADVICE AND LESSONS DID HE
SHARE WITH YOU THAT COULD HELP OTHERS
CREATE BEAUTIFUL IMAGERY?
I learned so much in my time assisting for and
mentoring under Jim Erickson and the lessons could
fill a book.
A couple of things have stuck with me. Jim shot a
lot of film. Tons of it... As he did he would always say,
“it’s all in the numbers”, meaning capturing that one
magic frame would not be done in one shot, but be
one frame shining among the many. The more he
would shoot the better the chances were to walk
away with that one magic picture.
He would also tell me that one of the most
important things I could learn was to be able to
speak eloquently about my own work. It is a very
powerful lesson when it comes to engage both
collaborators and clients in your process and vision.
I’m in the world of marketing and I only try to apply what I see
done by advertising agencies and big brands to my business
AT WHAT POINT DID YOU BEGIN WORKING
WITH PROGRAMS SUCH AS PHOTOSHOP TO
MANIPULATE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS?
I took my first Photoshop class in the fall of 1995. I did
not have the foresight at the time to think this would be
the future of photography, but chose to do so because
my dad was a computer engineer.
The great by-product of me trying to connect with
my father over computers was me becoming a part of
the first generation of photographers being completely
fluid in Photoshop, using it truly as an extension of
HOW HAS NEW TECHNOLOGY CHANGED YOUR
STYLE OF PHOTOGRAPHY? HOW CAN NEW
TECHNOLOGY BE APPLIED TO A PERSON JUST
I’m not sure if technology itself has changed my style
of photography. Looking back at my body of work I
shot the same content in the same context when I
first started as I do now. What technology has done
is to allow for ideas and concepts to be pushed
further and for improbable elements to be placed
together. The aesthetic and style however has been
the same from darkroom to the digital realm.
The amazing contribution of new technology is
not just what we can do in Photoshop, but the
creativity it has unlocked and the access point to
participate. The entry point of becoming a
photographer has been lowered from massive film
cost and darkroom access to a few hundred dollars
for a camera and computer. Because of this the craft
of photography has been elevated to a level of
creativity unimagined by most 25 years ago.
EVERY ARTIST HAS THEIR FAVOURITE TOOL,
WHAT PHOTOSHOP TOOLS DO YOU FAVOUR?
My Photoshop tools are truly simple. Most people
get truly surprised when they see my process and
how few tools I use. I use layer masks to blend my
photographic pieces together. From there I use
Curves for colour and contrast and a bit of Hue/
Coin horse:came from the Periscope agency. I The idea of ‘the wrong tools for a highspeed job’ t was Erik’s job to bring a
sense of speed and energy to a static coin horse
© Erik Almas