John Opera has made a career out of capturing the beauty of nature and scientific phenomenon with his camera. Combining modernist sensibility with a sensitivity to the sublime, he makes extremely tactile photographs, frequently focusing on a single object—the torso of a woman, water flowing through a creek bed, a snow covered stump sticking out of a pond. Though he frequently experiments, Opera usually opts for one of two photographic processes: the Cyanotype, which yields a cyan-colored print, or the Anthotype, which employs photosensitive materials from plants.
Opera has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Longhouse Projects in New York, Macalester College Art Gallery in Minnesota, and the Buffalo Arts Studio in New York. He was also been included in a two-person show with Matt Sheridan-Smith at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, Missouri, and has been in notable group exhibitions at numerous institutions including: the DePaul Art Museum in Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, and the Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center in New York.