One of the UK’s top steampunk fine art photographys, Gary Nicholls, is appearing at the Timequake event at the BEC Manchester this weekend. As part of his appearance he will be setting up his studio to create a street scene photographing selected steampunks from the area to be included in the next book in his Imaginarium Trilogy.
The photographer conjures a fantastical world through his fine art images and only uses genuine steampunks in his photography. The first part of the triology, Book I, saw 8,500 images taken, with more than 600 horus spent on one image, involving 150 steampunks. The book was six years in the making, featuring 11 countries.
And now, he is set to feature a Manchester street scene.
Gary was initially inspired to begin this journey from an image he saw in Photoshop Magazine in 2012. Having honed his skills from the earliest days of his career in a photographic society with his first Digital SLR camera, a Canon 450, Gary’s skills have continued to grow, fueled by an incredibly fertile imagination. In 2012 Gary went to Lincoln’s Asylum Steampunk Festival and it was here that Gary found his cast and the inspiration for his characters.
The Imaginarium tells the tale of fictional character Eva and her journey from ruination to salvation, saving the world from a powerful nemesis, told in a series of Fine Art Photographic images. This fantastical story is told in The Imaginarium, book one of a trilogy containing over 150 fine art images. The tale includes a cast of over 150-real steampunks, whose amazing costumes have all been carefully designed and created by talented seamstresses. Not only is the fashion important within the story but the gadgets included in the scenes have also been uniquely created and designed by master craftsman, Peter Walton. Some of these pieces have taken over 10 months to design and make, with pieces such as the hand and orb costing over £12,000. The first volume in “The Imaginarium Trilogy”, is entitled ‘Eva’s Story’ and Gary is currently working on the second, entitled ‘Robbie Pertwee’.
Images taken between 100-350 hours to produce, with street scenes taking around 600 hours. Nicholls’ uses a layering technique, before printing the final image on to large metal sheets to enhance the depth and luminosity of his photography.
Three of his original composite images were chosen for an exhibition in New York City and Miami and has had an iconic Image in an exhibition in the Louvre. In 2014 he had his first major exhibition of 26 prints in London.
Gary Nicholls appears at Timequake at Manchester’s BEC 5-7 April 2019.