An exhibition to highlight the beauty of isolated rural petrol stations when they are lit up at night is opening at a Portsmouth gallery today.

Andrew Hayward’s photographs were commissioned by aspex gallery after he won the ‘best graduate in show award’ while a student at University of Portsmouth.

Andrew graduated with a BA Hons in Photography in 2012 then stayed on at University to train as a teacher, completing his PGCE in Further Education last summer. He now teaches photography and works as a freelance photographer and plans to return to university to study for his master’s.

He said: “Photography has an important role to play in documenting our present before it becomes our past. Simple aspects such as styles of building, living or dressing that will alter in time can be documented now.

“I’ve always been attracted to night-time photography, particularly places with a lot of light such as car parks or empty streets. While on a family holiday in 2011 I did a lot of driving at night in Devon where the A-roads went on for miles in complete darkness.

“You’re often the only car for ages then, out of that isolation, a petrol station would appear, shining like a beacon of hope in the night for a weary traveller. It was that trip which gave me the idea for this series of photographs.”

Andrew works with traditional methods, using 5”x 4″ large format film, because, he says, you have to work much harder and be more skilled when using film compared to using digital cameras.

Clive Caswell, curator at aspex, said: “The exceptional quality of Andrew’s work drew me towards it at the University of Portsmouth degree show in 2012. We are now thrilled to be able to support him at this stage of his career with a solo exhibition at our Guildhall space.”

The exhibition runs until October 19.

Click her to find out more about the aspex gallery exhibition.