Three years in the making and a decade of photogenic visualization presents itself in the form of Ray Collins’ latest masterpiece: a coffee table book called “Water & Light.” Where his first release “Found At Sea” solidified Collins as an incredible water photographer with talent and vision for pulling the trigger at some of the world’s deadliest slabs, his latest release ups-the-ante, with Collins filling each page deep with the ink of challenging light. Some of his best work includes heavy scenes filled with rich blacks and the afterglow of a sunset, colored by rich blues, purples, and a little ambient light. Plus, there’s your fair share of low-light silhouettes, shadowy visions, and storm-ridden seascapes that feel influenced by a marine art painter such as Ivan Aivazaovsky.
“The ocean I shoot is generally angry, rogue, dark and stormy,” says Collins, when asked about creating “Water & Light.” “Most of the time I’m alone when shooting. It’s usually the first or last half-hour of light. I liken it to the darkness of a candle in a very large room. You can make out everything in the room but predominately there’s more darkness than light.” Just under a decade ago, Collins was working in Australia’s coal mines as a late teen and vowed never to return. We can’t help to think that those coal mining experiences have somehow crept into his latest creation.