I was recently scouring the Interweb when I came across a fantastic, post apocalyptic, promo image. As I looked further it seemed to be for a new TV show, but as I dug a little deeper, I found out it was the brainchild of Jeff Madison.
Jeff is a photographer from New York, and his new photo series Mad World is based on a fictional TV show that comes on after AMC’s The Walking Dead! I like nothing more than when a photographer/digital artist who goes the whole hog and creates detailed stories with their images. I myself tend to write backstories and write down full character sheets before any actual shooting begins. So I was happy to see Jeff building a whole world with his imagination.
“As an artist I enjoy creating environments and situations that give my photography life. Working with Photoshop has helped me transform my imagination to a tangible reality. It’s very satisfying showing my work for others to see, so they too can share the experience of being someplace else.”
My name is Jeff Madison. I was born in 1971 in Syracuse, New York. My creativity was always active ever since I can remember. I always tried all forms of medium to translate to others my to imagination. The old Tom and Jerry cartoons had a major influence on me when I was growing up. I started as a cartoonist taking every opportunity I could to doodle on anything could find. I moved on to graphic design and put my artistic creativity to use on a professional level by creating concert fliers, brochures, logos, and banners for various people and web sites. I entered the photography realm at the time of my daughter’s birth. As the many pictures of her piled up, I began to photograph friends, family, and the great outdoors, often editing the photos to satisfy my creative urge. With my artist drive and combining it with my photography I am excited to too see what I create next.
I have always wanted to do a project that was based on a wasteland setting. Playing games like Fallout and the Divsion, and watching the movies The Book of Eli and The Road have inspired me to move forward, to create my own post apocalyptic world.
In order for me to have somewhat of an organized project I created a hypothetical TV show. I needed a “Cast” so I asked a lot of my friends if they woyuld like tio be part of this project. After many different shoots for the character cast. I was able to then move forward to creating the “MAD World” TV show project. I purchased some used Airsoft guns and painted them to look like real guns. Props are important in any successful shoot. All of the images that I used to create my wasteland work were shot by myself from the local area where I live, Syracuse, NY I take pride I got from creating composite images, with my own photos. There is a story for each photo that I use.
I am proud of this project and looking forward to creating more scenes and environments for the “MAD World”
DIYP: Tell us a little of how you got into photography, and who your influences are.
JM: Six years ago, right before my daughter Sophia was born, my wife and I wanted a nice camera to take newborn pictures. After having requests for family photos by friends and family, I realized I had a passion for taking photos and it was another outlet for me to express my art.
In the beginning, digital artist, Brooke Shaden was a pretty big influence on my work with composite art.
DIYP: Your images sometimes feature large sets and elaborate setups. how long does it take to create an image from start to finish?
JM: On average, an image, from start to finish can take 10-15 hours. Sometimes more. I tend to break down the bigger composites into shorter lengths to keep my mind fresh and on point. If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be not to rush through your images! If it is personal, you have no deadline, so be meticulous.
DIYP: How important is Photoshop in your workflow. Does your work rely on it or could you still create your images without it.
JM: Photoshop is very important in my workflow. It is the main engine that takes me to the reality that I want to create. My work does depend heavily on the use of Photoshop. To the photographers who moan about the use of Photoshop, or claim they don’t edit their photos, well that is all nice, but each to their own. Photoshop helps my visions come to life, and I couldn’t live without it.
DIYP: What would be your best piece of advice be to people just starting to use Photoshop for the first time.
JM: To those just starting to use Photoshop, you need lots of patience. Take art classes to learn perspective, lighting, and shading. Use it everyday and seek out answers from other professionals. I tend to use Phlearn or Youtube videos
DIYP: With the rise of Photoshop, and most people these days having access to it, do you think it is harder to stand out from the crowd?
JM: I don’t think it’s harder to stand out from the crowd because, to ‘know’ Photoshop as an artist is different than just knowing the steps in Photoshop. Especially when it comes to lighting and perspective. Every artist sees his art in a unique way, this is how we can all exist on the same planet, but all create new and inspiring work.
DIYP: Where would you like to see yourself in 10 years time.
JM: In 10 years I would like to constantly be used on a professional, commercial level. I would like my work to rank amongst the finest in the world. ….and hopefully, just hopefuuly my Mad World series may have been turned into a real television series hahaha.
Jeff can be found at Madesignzphotography.