Grant Legassick was born in South Africa. He studied Graphic Art then travelled extensively around Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia. Throughout his travels he experimented with photography, developing his instincts for elements such as composition, colour, exposure and light. He spent many years working in the design and film industries in London, where he worked as a visual effects artist under directors such as Oliver Stone, Ridley Scott, Wolfgang Petersen and Tim Burton. During this time he acquired advanced skills in compositing (the combining of visual elements from separate sources into single images) and digital matte painting (a painted representation of a landscape, set, or distant location that allows filmmakers to create the illusion of an environment that is nonexistent in real life). Armed with these skills, Legassick began experimenting with high resolution imagery, breaking away from the traditional screen resolution of film and taking on the challenges of large format stills. The work involved became a lot more intricate, with much more detail to consider, and due to large file sizes the workflows needed to be tailored and customised.
Legassick’s background in visual effects, combined with his intuitive photographic style, has enabled him to produce a collection of unique works. Merging cutting edge digital mastery with beautiful scenes, his technique and the resulting images find a new depth to photography, whilst offering a modern and fresh visual approach to the subject.
Once an idea has been formed, Legassick will shoot for a high resolution background plate, often made up of over 100 images shot in full high dynamic range. These images are then stitched together and tone-mapped, creating a master photograph as a starting point. Then, as a painter applies his paint, layer upon layer to his canvas, he begins to digitally work through his image, selecting areas to enhance and others to subdue, compositing individually shot detailed elements, adjusting lighting and grading, developing the image towards its full potential at levels of granularity seldom seen in works of this size.
Legassick is fascinated with the wider context of the world, be it environment, social or economic. His work often looks at how something in the past affects the present, or how something present may affect the future – how things adapt to changes in the world and the infinite and cyclical nature of this.