:: ABOUT MARK GRAY
Mark Gray is considered by many to be Australia’s new leading landscape photographer.
With a growing list of over 140 International Awards, Mark's work has sold for up to $30,000 and is collected in 32 countries across the world.
Mark's photographs have featured on prime-time television and are regularly published in books, magazines, newspapers, calendars and more...
Mark is a completely self-taught photographer and specialises in stunning panoramic photography of fine art landscapes from Australia and beyond.
The majority of Mark's open and limited edition photographs were captured with a medium format panoramic film camera which is far superior to any digital camera available and allows incredible detail to be captured. The end result is fine art photographs that can be printed extremely large, over 5 metres wide, while retaining outstanding quality and sharpness.
MARK GRAY'S BIOGRAPHY
Mark Gray was born in Melbourne, Victoria on February 20th, 1981 to parents with Latvian, English and Irish heritage.
Mark's primary schooling was undertaken at Bennettswood Primary School in Box Hill South. He then attended Camberwell High School for one year before relocating to Donvale Christian College where he developed a keen interest in graphic design. For his final year of secondary college Mark moved to Box Hill Senior Secondary which offered a highly specialised course in Graphic Design and the Arts.
Brought up in a Baptist family, Mark attended Wattle Park Chapel and became a Christian in his early teenage years.
During Mark’s mid-late teenage years his artistic side began to show, spending many hours painting graffiti art along railway lines and any blank walls he could find. Unfortunately, graffiti artists were viewed as criminals during this time and he had many run-ins with the law. Thankfully times have changed and graffiti now receives the respect it deserves as an art form with many collectors paying thousands of dollars for pieces to hang on their walls. Mark’s experience with graffiti art gave him an excellent introduction to working with colours effectively and composition techniques which came in handy later in life when he first picked up a camera.
After graduating from secondary school at the age of 18, Mark undertook a Diploma of Multimedia at Swinburne Tafe in Wantirna and learnt quickly that he wanted to become a Web Designer. During his time at Swinburne, Mark developed a keen interest in underground electronic music and started working part-time as a DJ at various pubs and night clubs around Melbourne; this continued into his early 20s.
On completion of his Diploma at the age of 19, Mark found full-time employment as a junior web designer. Over the following 7 years he became an expert in website design and internet marketing, slowly climbing the industry ladder to eventually become a web manager overseeing a number of junior staff. His design work certainly contributed to gaining an even better understanding of working with colours effectively and composition techniques.
During his years working as a DJ and web designer Mark slowly strayed from his Christian faith and became deeply involved in the dark, underground electronic music scene in Melbourne. Pretty soon he was living a wild, out of control lifestyle that was heading for disaster.
In September 2002, a life-changing event occurred when Mark was severely assaulted outside a nightclub. Amongst other injuries, he received a fractured skull above his left eye socket. An area of his skull about the size of a 50 cent piece had been cracked inwards, finishing up only millimetres from his brain. Thankfully, plastic surgeons were able to pop the damaged bone back out of his head and permanently secure it in place with 7 titanium plates. A couple of millimetres more and Mark wouldn't be here today, or worse still he could have received brain damage and ended up in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Mark was extremely grateful for the second chance he had received and made a promise to God that he would clean up his act and make something worthwhile of his life.
In 2003, Mark met and started dating Suzy Baryczka; who soon became his wife. During the early stages of their relationship they both discovered a love of travelling, often leaving Melbourne to spend long weekends in bed and breakfasts at Apollo Bay or The Grampians. It was during one of these trips to Apollo Bay that Mark first witnessed a truly incredible sunrise and his love affair with landscape photography began.
Mark had attempted to capture the sunrise with their new digital point and shoot camera but became extremely frustrated because it simply couldn’t do it justice. He soon decided that he wanted upgrade his camera and learn the skills required to accurately record those amazing moments in time. Particularly so that he could share them with the rest of the world.
It wasn’t long after this that Mark realised landscape photography was his one true passion. He sacrificed his extensive social life and dedicated all his spare time to pushing his own boundaries and learning everything required to capture those incredible moments. His background in graffiti and design certainly gave him a head start with composition techniques however the technical side of photography was something very foreign to him. He spent many hours reading photography books, researching information online and using basic trial and error in the field until he mastered the techniques required to capture technically perfect landscape photograph's.
Overtly ambitious, it was only 6 months later in 2005 when Mark decided to have a go at selling his work. While still working full-time as a web designer and with only a handful of prints in his portfolio, he established his first photography business ‘Australian Landscapes’ and setup a website using his existing web skills. His first clients included a number of family members, friends and even his next door neighbour.
As Mark’s photography skills progressed, so did his business and he soon changed the name to ‘Mark Gray Fine Art Landscape Photography’. After experiencing significant sales growth for the following 3 years, he finally made the break from his day job as a web manager and became a professional landscape photographer.
In 2008, Mark began offering 1 and 3 day photography workshops to other aspiring landscape photographers. They were an instant success and Mark quickly discovered that he also enjoys teaching photographers.
Nowadays, Mark now releases the majority of his photographs as collectable limited edition prints, some selling for up to $60,000. He has also expanded his product range to include a wide variety of retail merchandise. His workshops regularly book out many months in advance and are attended by photographers from all over the world.
Mark's first ever print releases were captured with a 6 mega pixel Sony Cybershot point and shoot. Only 6 months later he upgraded to a Fuji S7000 semi-DSLR. 12 months after that, he invested in a Canon 350D DSLR with a Canon 10-22mm EF-S wide angle lens. A handful of the photo's that still feature in Mark's portfolio today were captured with this camera.
He soon grew frustrated with the limitations of his digital SLR and decided to take the plunge into medium/large format film photography with the purchase of a used professional Fuji G617 panoramic range finder camera w/ fixed Fujinon 105mm f5.6 Lens. After a couple of years, this was upgraded to a similar but more advanced camera with interchangeable lenses, the Fuji GX-617 with 90mm Fujinon f5.6 lens (used also).
In July of 2009, Mark had an unfortunate incident on the Central Coast of New South Wales. While shooting on the edge of a rock ledge at Norah Head Lighthouse, a freak wave hit Mark and his camera. Luckily he was not swept off the rocks but his camera was written off. Fortunately, it was insured and he was able to finally upgrade to his dream camera, a brand new Linhof Technorama 617s III with a 72mm Schneider Super Angulon XL f5.6 lens.
Mark has shot his film work predominantly with the Linhof and he alternates between two lenses on the camera, the 72mm and a 90mm Schneider Super Angulon XL f5.6.
He shoots mainly with Fuji Velvia 50 film which is famous for its fine grain, extreme sharpness and fantastic colour saturation. When a faster speed is required he also uses Fuji Provia 400X. Although shooting on medium format film is more time consuming and costly than digital - with only 4 or 8 photos per roll of film, it allows the capture of 6x17cm transparencies (positives instead of negatives) which results in much higher quality photographs that can be printed as big as a billboard without sacrificing quality.
Mark has also shot with a Nikon D810 with two lenses - a 15mm Zeiss Distagon and 14-24mm Nikkor Wide-Angle. The D810 replaced his previous Nikon D800E and Canon 5D Mark II Digital SLRs.
Mark now shoots his digital work predominantly with an ALPA Tech Camera and Phase ONE iQ3 100MP digital back. His lens of choice is the large format 23mm Rodenstock f5.6. He also shoots on occasion with a Canon 5DsR and Canon 11-24mm ultra wide-angle zoom lens.
Mark uses a Manfrotto Mark Gray Signature Tripod
and cable release for long exposures. His kit includes a NISI Filter system with different strength neutral density, graduated neutral density and polariser filters.
An exhibition of Mark's work featured at a private corporate BMW USA event at the Museum of Contemporary Art in The Rocks, Sydney.
An exhibition of Mark’s work featured in the Shashin Gallery in Toorak, Melbourne.
An exhibition of Mark’s work featured in the Arrowtown Gallery in Arrowtown, New Zealand.
An exhibition of Mark’s work featured in the High Country Photography Gallery, Bright VIC.
An exhibition of Mark’s work featured in the Bell Street Gallery, Torquay VIC.
The lease at 1/139 Main Street came to an end in August of 2015 so it was time to take a big step into a much larger and more prominent premises at 65 Main Street. The current gallery is located in the highly sought after Paris end of Main Street and boasts over 100m2 of floor space.
After experiencing immediate success in the Merimbula Gallery, one year later a second Mark Gray Gallery was established at 1/139 Main Street in Mornington, Victoria.
Mark achieved a long-term dream with the opening of the very first Mark Gray Gallery in Merimbula, New South Wales.
Mark published 'Perfect Peninsula' 2017. A premium 2017 Calendar featuring 12 of his best-selling Mornington Peninsula photographs.
Mark published 'Dusk & Dawn' 2017. A premium 2017 Calendar featuring 12 of his best-selling Australian landscape photographs.
Mark published 'Dusk & Dawn' 2016. A premium 2016 Calendar featuring 12 of his best-selling Australian landscape photographs.
Mark published 'Dusk & Dawn' 2015. A premium 2015 Calendar featuring 12 of his best-selling Australian landscape photographs.
Mark published 'Dusk & Dawn' 2014. A premium 2014 Calendar featuring 12 of his best-selling Australian landscape photographs.
Mark published ‘Dusk & Dawn' 2013. A premium 2013 Calendar featuring 12 of his best-selling Australian landscape photographs.
NATURAL LIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY
All photographs displayed in the online gallery have been photographed solely using natural light.
Mark does not use any coloured filters when shooting or add colours to photographs during post production. The incredible light and colour that you see in his photographs are a result of repeatedly revisiting locations during times of the day when most people are still asleep in bed or at home unwinding for the day. It is during these times when you are most likely to experience what Mark likes to call 'magic light'. Usually it only lasts for a matter of minutes or sometimes even seconds, but when it happens he is there, ready and waiting to capture it!
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