New York-based photographer Michael Massaia‘s images are distinct because of a couple of characteristics. The most obvious is that they are rendered in monochrome. The other reason is that the majority of them were shot in the dead of night. The latter was not done out of creative considerations, but rather because of a condition Massaia’s struggles with: insomnia.
Both elements are evident in his latest work called Deep In a Dream — Central Park, and they both contribute to the collection’s distinctive look. In Massaia’s landscapes of Central Park, deserted houses as well as closed amusement parks look eerily and scantily lit by incandescent-like illuminations.
The exposures are shot with a large format camera that is able to record fine nuances of the light that emanates from the dark. The evening plays an equal role with the Big Apple itself, as it is the perfect backdrop in which very many layers of light and shadow create a world that is almost surreal.
In it we see New York City’s iconography at its most deserted. Shot between the hours of 2am and 6am, the photographs are embodied with a desolate, lonely aura that contrasts starkly with the bustling NYC we all know of. This series is really part of a collection being created by Massaia. His newest project is called Deep In a Dream – Sheep Meadow, a collection that features people.
Massaia got into photography while in High School and has remained passionate about it ever since. He grew up in New Jersey and has largely remained there throughout his life. Massaia is from the school of hard knocks and is very adept in the tricks of photography, fusing his amazing technical talent with innovative and meticulously planned compositional works.
His main medium is large format black and white film image captures as well as large format platinum and silver gelatin printing. His photos have appeared in television documentaries and have been written about in photography publications. Massaia was the recipient last year of the the Hearst 2013, 8 x 10 Photography Biennial Photography.
See his amazing body of work here.