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An Interview with Fine Art Photographer, Randi Grace Nilsberg

From stunning Still Life photography, artistic landscapes, divine macro images, majestic dogs and people portraits and much more, Randi Grace Nilsberg’s fine art photography and art are both impressive and distinctive.

Her thorough understanding of composition, colour and design is revealed in her excellent work.

Some of Randi’s Still Life has a theme of a certain colour, such as red, or objects such as Umbrellas or Feathers. Besides a very cute puppy, her current Instagram work show’s beautiful Still Life compositions that are expertly styled with glistening, textured, painterly backgrounds.

Her enchanting series ‘Winter Blues’, turns trees and branches into magical wintery, photo artwork; and something close to my heart, Pretty Dead Stuff’, reveals dying flowers in all their faded glory, displayed with beautifully coloured and textured backgrounds.

Thankfully all of Randi’s photography and artwork is available to purchase.

You can buy her work at Pixels

She also has her own website

Randi has her own blog

Her amazing Instagram feed!

Please talk about where you are from, grew up, and where you live now…

I was born in Workington, England, but I grew up in Norway.  I live in a small town by the Oslofjord called Horten.

What was it that started your interest in photography and making a career out of it?

I think my interest in photography was awakened after having studied photos in National Geographic Magazine.  One photo was a beautiful image of a snow covered apple, and this triggered something in me in my early teens.  But, it wasn’t until several years later I could afford my first SLR camera. At first, it was a hobby, then I worked as a school and kindergarten photographer for a while before returning to being an employee in the electronics world. I was laid off from my “real job” and had to make a choice about doing what I really wanted to.  Now I work harder than ever to make a living from my dream of being a successful fine art photographer.

Please talk about how you conceptualise your ideas….. do you think of a theme, idea and build on that or is it spontaneous?  

Much of my work is spontaneous. When I go out I shoot whatever object catches my eye through its light and shadows, textures and colors.  Sometimes an idea comes out of nowhere, and I try to focus long enough to make a whole series based on that idea. It could be a certain color, topic or style or something else that connects the images.  

What planning goes into styling your Still Life tabletop work (drawing, writing) and what are you doing when composing the image? (are you tethered to the computer or are you looking at the camera screen?) (how long does a shoot take you and do you listen to music when working, if so what music?)

I compose the image in camera by moving the objects around to see what looks best, and I remove elements or add them as I go.  There’s a lot of trying and failing before I’m happy with the result. I always try to add at least one piece of something organic like a flower or a twig.  A single flower can add so much life to a photo and make the whole arrangement more pleasing to the eye. Then I do the final touch on the computer screen. If it adds to the image I might include texture layers. The time the whole photo shoot takes may vary from a few minutes to a few hours.  I lose track of time when I’m deeply engaged in my work.  When it comes to music, I normally keep the radio on or listen to random lists on Spotify. 

Which artists and/or photographers inspire you?

There are so many great artists that inspire me, that I couldn’t possibly name just a few.  There are so many different styles and ideas that make me want to create similar art only with a different approach.

What tools do you use for your post processing?  Explain your workflow.

I try to make the shot as perfect as I possibly can when it comes to lighting and composition, and I often leave it at that.  Sometimes, especially when I work on series, I use Photoshop to add texture layers that I have either purchased or made myself.  If necessary I adjust the light or crop the image. 

What equipment do you use when you are shooting outside?

Camera, favourite lens, flash, etc

I use my Nikon D700 with a 24-70 1:2.8 G ED lens.  Sometimes I bring a tripod. I try to carry as little as possible when I’m out.  Too much gear takes the focus away from the shot.  I’m more interested in the result than the equipment.

What do you enjoy most about your photography and what aspects do not enjoy, if any?

I love every aspect of photography, the planning, the set-up, the thinking, the actual shooting and the post processing.  The challenges that come with new ideas and even the frustration that sometimes comes with it is part of the learning process.  As a photographer, you always have something to learn, and that’s very intriguing!  

 Randi Grace Nilsberg
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