Catherine Nelson’s Digital Collages Celebrate Nature

© Catherine Nelson

It took Catherine Nelson a couple of months to create each work in her series “Future Memories 2020,” an ode to the rainforests threatened with extinction due to climate change.

Each image comprises hundreds of individual photos that are combined into one digital collage. When Nelson photographs a location, she makes as many as 15,000 photos with her Nikon D850 camera, both wide angle and close up, that she combs through later to pick out the best elements.

“The final process is like making a jigsaw puzzle but using pieces that I create,” Nelson says, “and I only have an impression of the outcome.” She likens the process to painting.

“Although the message behind the work is far from joyful, I think the works are ultimately very joyful,” she says. “What comes across is my sheer love of nature and the happiness I have being immersed in it, exploring and enjoying it. Nature is everything. We are nature. I find that an extremely uplifting realization.”  

Amanda Arnold is the associate editor of Professional Photographer.