Christoffer Relander Superimposes Nature onto Portraits

In-camera multiple exposure or digital compositing via Adobe Photoshop? For 10 years, Christoffer Relander remained true to the multi-exposure method for his ongoing series “We Are Nature.” “But I asked myself every now and then, Am I limiting myself?” So for his most recent iteration, “We Are Nature VI,” he went digital, using Adobe Photoshop to composite portraits made under studio lighting with photographs of elements in nature.

The drawback of the in-camera work is the lack of control, he says. “It’s very difficult to do it as precisely as you planned. But that is also part of the beauty in the process.”

Being able to layer images in Photoshop lends control, but the software’s endless possibilities can become overwhelming. “It can be very difficult to decide when the artwork is finished,” he says.

Relander’s solution was to limit the number of layers. “Even though I had the possibility of making hundreds of layers, I tried to make it as simple as possible. This helped me a lot to keep the excitement in the process because the process for me is the important part. If I am not feeling excited or feeling joy in the process, I might get bored and then I just leave the project. It was a fun process and fun to see the final images and how they came to life.”