Ansel Adams once said “A photograph is usually looked at – seldom looked into.” If that is true, James Grasshopper is a minority.
With a lifetime of experience capturing beauty on camera, Grasshopper has taken to a love of photography in Linden. Using a variety of traditional and non-traditional photographic techniques paired with the correct software, he brings out, as he puts it, the world’s “artistic and aesthetic [elements] that may or may not be there just standing in-world.”
Photographers pick their subjects in various ways. Grasshopper’s approach is to choose a random destination on the Grid, wander around, and see what strikes him. Where does he find his photo-worthy subject matter? In his eyes, it is everywhere.
Speaking about his unorthodox photo, “Zen Rooftop,” Grasshopper demonstrates one approach he uses in photography. Turning a simple photograph of a building rooftop into an emulation of Japanese design by finding the broad color, patterns and space within the structure, he takes the photo’s meaning to a place beyond what is traditionally viewed.
He refers to his other approach as “extreme layers of depth,” which he considers the opposite to how he composed “Zen Rooftop.” These types of photos typically attempt to strike a balance between space and structure, which focuses on multiple levels of depth in one photo using various focal points. These two polarities in photographic style give Grasshopper a wide portfolio of unique pieces that can trigger different types of responses with each viewing.
Looking through Grasshopper’s collection, one may notice his pictures come in both black and white and color. As with most photographer, he appreciates the classic style and elevated magnificence of a black and white photograph, but is not blind to the rich possibilities offered in Linden when it comes to engaging color, both texturally and environmentally.
With new WindLight technology, Grasshopper is able to transform settings to his own artistic angle, or recreate particular environmental elements of a location on any occasion. It allows him to summarize a place and time in his own vision, which enables him to produce pieces such as “Sunrise” Coupling that with the built-in screen capture technology, flying and breathing underwater, he is afforded infinite possibilities for expression that otherwise would be unascertainable.
Grasshopper uses all these photographic techniques, technologies and creative elements to grasp his pictures, which he then inserts into Photoshop where he can finalize his artistic goals and build the emotional power of the shot. “I strive to maximize composition, color, emotion… and whatever I can do to enhance that, I do,” he says about his Photoshopping tactics.
Admitting that his artistic skills do not spill over into architecture, he has not created an in-world gallery to showcase his masterpieces. However, that is not to say that he would not adore the opportunity to present his photos to the people. Anyone currently running an art gallery that would be interested in featuring his work is urged to contact him in-world.
Constantly honing his skills and furthering his craft, Grasshopper will continue to create eloquent pieces, bringing the beauty of Linden out in his own artistic vision.
“There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.” Ansel Adams said that, too. And the photography of James Grasshopper proves this theory tenfold.
Grasshopper’s pieces can be seen here, on GWN, and on Flickr, here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamesmichaelGrasshopper/