Le Gray studied painting with Picot and Delaroche before turning to photography in 1847. He opened a photography studio in Paris in 1848. In 1851 he perfected a dry waxed-paper process, and became a member of the Société Héliographique. He photographed the forest at Fontainebleau from 1849-1852 and again in the mid-1850s. In 1854 he became a founder-member of the Société français de Photographie. He was considered a master craftsman and taught photography to Nègre, Du Camp, Le Secq, and others. He left France in 1859 and moved to Egypt, where he taught drawing and design at the Ecole Polytechnique in Cairo from 1865 until his death.
Janis, Eugenia Parry. The Photography of Gustave Le Gray. 1987.