Michael Gray’s photography will just knock your socks off. Perhaps it is because of the stunning contrasts that he captures. Perhaps it is because of the time he takes to create and develop each print. Or perhaps is it because he has worked steadily over the years to hone his craft and create photos that are true to his vision. I think all of the above, plus he’s just a really, really talented artist. Here is what he had to say about some of his work:
Battersea power station, study 3. 2007.
I planned to go to Battersea on this July morning to take a few images of the power station but sadly it was raining heavily and any decent sky was non existent. Around mid morning I noticed the sky clearing with white clouds appearing so I grabbed my Arax60 with 45mm PC lens and swiftly went to the power station. As I arrived the sky was like no other sky I had seen before and rapidly changing so time was not on my side. I took a few frames of film before the sky turned to grey and started raining again.
Battle Abbey, study 6. 2007
For this image the time of year is important for the ray to be at the correct angle although it does not always appear even with the sun shining. I visited the abbey on this November day with my MamiyaRB67 camera and the ray was fortunately visible. The lighting is complex with light coming from windows outside of the frame as well as the windows in front of the camera so exposure and development of the film is critical to maintain detail.
British museum, study 1. 2006
This was an early morning visit to the museum and I was one of the first visitors through the doors.
The view in front of me was breath taking with light and shadows all around. This was the first frame I took with my Arax60 and 50mm wide lens, only 10 minutes later visitors were on the stairs.
City hall, study 5. 2009
Taken early on a dull summer day using my 5×4 camera the composition was not very straightforward.
Camera position was very critical and only a few centimetres either way ruined the composition.
The large rail to the left creates a distorted perspective due to the large size of around 30-40 cm across.
The smaller silver inner handrail is actually hand size.
Clapham Common study 3, foggy night. 2008
Fog is one of my favourite weather conditions for photography but sadly is very rare. I was fortunate during February 2008 to have four days of fog so I decided to take some very early morning images on Clapham Common. I ventured on to the common at around 4-00am with my Mamiya C330s and started taking some images of various subjects. Suddenly I came across this scene of a tree lit from behind by a street lamp, which created the beautiful light rays.
Eagle pond, snow, Clapham Common. 2009
We had very heavy snow during the night and when I woke in the morning I had to get out there even though it was only 4-00am.
I live close to the common but walking on this particular morning was daunting so I managed to drive to the common in my car, slipping and sliding all the way. I set up my Mamiya C330s camera on a tripod and was the only person around so no footprints, just fresh clean snow.
Headstones, West Norwood cemetery. 2006.
This was my first ever visit to the cemetery on a sunny autumn day. Finding a decent composition with my Arax60 was not easy and this headstone with the cross to the left really attracted my attention. I burnt the background in to give a night-time appearance.