Growing up I was always interested in photography, documenting my adventures in the outdoors and all the places I travelled. I got my degree in photography and started learning how to use digital tools for photo editing, which was a revelation. I realized that instead of using photography just for documentation, I could also create whatever I could imagine. I did a lot of experimentation with digital photomontage and came up with my own style and conceptual motivations. A few years later I decided to pursue an MFA degree in Digital Arts at Pratt Institute in New York City. After taking everything that I’ve learned, now I’m working on various personal projects and commissions, showing my work in a few galleries, publishing my artist books, and teaching workshops on photography and digital imaging.
All of my artwork is created using my own photography, so after researching and sketching out ideas to work with, the next step is to photograph everything I need for the project. For much of my past work I started with images from cities on the east coast like New York, Brooklyn, and Philadelphia which was perfect to collect photos of urban decay like buildings overgrown with vines and industrial ruins. The images of animals came from the wild, zoos, aquariums, taxidermy shops, and museums of natural history. All the characters were photographed in the studio with costumes and lighting to match the scenes. Finally, many of the landscape images actually came from traveling around the US and to a few different countries over the past few years to capture the best source material.
Then to create my images, I use a complex process of digital imaging in Adobe Photoshop and each image is actually made up of about 50 or more photographs meticulously pieced together. So I spend a lot of effort building up an image, figuring out the lighting, shadows, color, and other effects to make it look realistic and seamless. Each image is carefully planned out and created as an intricately layered construction, which gives it such a hyper-real, illustrative quality. The main digital tools that I use in creating my work are Bridge and Lightroom for file organization, Camera Raw for photo editing, and most of all Photoshop for compositing, retouching, and effects. I also use Illustrator for typography and design elements, as well as InDesign to create print and ebook publications of my work.
Below are some examples of my finished work, including book projects, gallery exhibitions, and commercial commissions.
Please view more examples of my work, technique, and creative process through the links below:
WEBSITE – https://nick-pedersen.com
BEHANCE – https://www.behance.net/nickpedersen
PORTFOLIO – https://nickpedersen.myportfolio.com