The illustrated photo-CV


I was born in December 1956 in Aarhus, Denmark and grew up as the only child of a gardener and a school teacher in Kolding, Denmark.
As a teenager I was interested in nature, music, art and photography, and in 1971 I bought my first Nikkormat SLR camera. As a start I had only a 200 mm lens intended for bird-photography but quickly invested in a 50 mm as well. The following years I experimented with black and white photography and learned to process pictures in the darkroom.
In the need of a photographic art education in Denmark, I started studying biology at The University of Aarhus in 1980. This evolved into studying, photographing and teaching fungi.
In 1984 I had an exhibition of »cityscapes« at a small underground gallery in Aarhus. Later I participated in a small number of group exhibitions in Aarhus and Copenhagen.
In 1988 I bought an Apple II computer with a 19" grey scale screen, a scanner and Adobe Photoshop version 1. This lead into a long period of experimentation with computer-manipulated photographs, resulting in e.g. the »crystal and morphs« series.
Alongside I got my hands on a 4 x 5 " Horsemann bench camera. This resulted in a number of double-exposure experiments and studio-portraits.
In the late eighties a number of travels to Arabian countries (Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco) inspired series of photographs of deserts sands and Arab ornaments.
Having my first child in 1990, time was short for the next years and many rolls of film was spend photographing my family's life. Also my career as a mycologist took time and I gradually specialized in ultra-macro photographs of tiny fungi.
In 2000 we moved to the country to establish an organic apple plantation. With this followed a renewed interest in photographing landscapes and flowers.
In 2001 I changed to digital photography, mainly using small Nikon Coolpix 995 and 8700 cameras. This allowed me to approach the photography in a new and more intuitive way, e.g. the meditations series.
In 2002 and 2004 I worked as photographer on two expeditions to the Amazon rain forest, photographing fungi under rather difficult conditions. Because of the Coolpix 995´s fantastic macro abilities we were able to make a number of astonishing close ups of tropical fungi in their natural habitats.
Back in Denmark I started working on new pictures inspired by the conflict between nature and decaying buildings: The Open Door series.
In 2007 I reviewed the picture collection and selected photographs for the web site.

During summer 2008 the meditations series evolved and the Open Doors series turned into Balances including the night life series of the secret life of night insects.

Also part of the Balances was the series of scrap pictures from a ship deconstruction site in Grenaa, Denmark.
Jens H. Petersen
2009 followed a more romantic mode: Super macro pictures of the private lift of flowers . . .
as well as mandala-like portraits of the the wild flora surrounding our house gathered under the title Fertility.
New working surroundings started the series 30 View from my window (2010)
View from my window
Late 2009 was also the time to make a computer-search for life in an alternative space.
Life in negative space
The winter 2009-2010 project inspired by Stings album »If on a winter night« is night pictures of buildings and landscapes in my neighborhood.
Winter night
There are many roads to the animation of nature through images. A goes through symmetries. The series Reflections (2011-12) are created partly in Bhutan's mountains, partly in a French mine, partly in the universal sky.
Imaginary Landscapes (2011-2012) is a series of subtly manipulated travel photos as a dream of scenes from past times.
Imaginary Landscapes
Living in the country one experiences darkness—but also light emissions from human activities (2013).
The War Room is a counter-factual play with thoughts and images concerning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (2011-13).
The war room
Changing planes (2013) is about “local knowledge” and “universal knowledge” . . .
Changeing planes
Country scenes was my large 2013-14 project documenting the life in the Danish countryside. It resulted in a 208 pages photobook.
Country Scenes
Early 2015 I revisited a collection of travel pictures from Egypt 1986-87. This resulted in the new web-project Arabian dreams including old and new pictures based on the original slides.
For several years I have been working in during the light evenings of the Danish summer, photographing landscapes, flowers, insects and mythology. The resulting series “Summer nights” became a book in spring 2016.
The 2014-2017-project The old ones / de gamle was a series related to our past. By mixing old church paintings with present day photographs the work attempt to create a time link between past and present.
The old ones
Timelines was the 2014-15 project started by the discovery of a dead fox in my neighboring forest. The carcass was followed for a year and complemented by pictures of springs, old trees and meditative moments.
The summer 2016-project was named “From the Garden”. Photoshopped blowups of small animals which mutated into strange outline graphics.
Strange creatures
The coast of the island Læsø is where I can feel the Danish nature.
Rønnerne Læsø
Lost and found and the Pink Pussy Hats (2017-2022)
Pink Pussy Hats
Graphical birds (2022)
Pink Pussy Hats
Japanesque (2022)
Pink Pussy Hats
Jens H. Petersen, November 2022.

Jens H. Petersen