I’m excited to announce my new exhibit: INVISIBLE LIGHT: THE WORLD IN INFRARED opening today!
I can’t say strongly enough how much I appreciate working with the Verve Gallery of Photography. They are the best!
I hope you will be able to see the show in person, as prints are best seen on paper glory. However, if that isn’t possible, I hope you will take a look at the 32 images online.
NEVADA WIER – Invisible Light: The World in Infrared
September 6 – November 2, 2013
Opening reception: Friday, September 27, 2013, 5–7 p.m.
Nevada Wier, a Santa Fe resident, is an award-winning photographer and instructor specializing in capturing images from the remotest corners of the globe and the cultures that inhabit them. Her journeys have taken her throughout Southeast Asia; to India, China, Nepal and Central Mongolia; and to New Zealand and South America.
Nevada has had two previous exhibitions here at VERVE Gallery: A Nomadic Vision: 25 Years in January 2008. Her first show was a retrospective of her first 25 years as a photographer. Her Outer India exhibition in 2010 focused on images of the cultures found in the remote areas at India’s borders.
Nevada brings a completely novel perspective in her images from this new body of work, Invisible Light: The World in Infrared. This is how she describes the work:
“Our visual familiarity with the world we live in is limited to colors in the visible spectrum. Beyond what our eyes can see lies the iridescent world of the infrared (IR) spectrum. Six years ago I began exploring the challenge of making the invisible visible: photographing unusual places using the unusual, haunting light of infrared. The resulting photographs are truly images in a different light.
In the 1930s Kodak developed emulsions that were sensitive to infrared light. Black-and-white infrared film was the popular choice. With the advent of digital cameras, recording infrared light expanded with creative possibilities. Digital cameras are so sensitive to infrared light that manufacturers have to place a filter in front of the sensor to block infrared light from spoiling regular photographs. By removing this filter and replacing it with one that blocks most of the visible light, the photographer is able to record near-infrared light with a bit of visible, deep-red light. The result is a surreal image with a bit of color, usually shades of blues and amber with occasional magenta.
It is often difficult to predict the colors that emerge from infrared photography as they are determined by the reflection and absorption of the light and the differences in temperature between an object and its environment. Skin tones are usually pale and unblemished, eye color changes, foliage becomes white and iridescent, and sometimes one is able to see details under fabrics that are unseen in visible light.
Photographing with IR light has different complications from using visible light. The sun is the primary source of infrared light; thus, the best infrared photographs tend to be captured in direct sunlight or bright, open shade. IR light has a longer wavelength, coming into focus at a different point than visible light, so it’s difficult to predict exactly where the focal point will be in an image. As with all my images, I crop sparingly and never change any content. Yet processing and printing an infrared image requires a deft understanding of technology in order to bring forth the subtle colors within.”
Thus, Nevada combines her favorite subjects, tribal cultures in the remotest regions of the planet as seen in an invisible light. A newly released VERVE video Nevada Wier Artist Video features the peripatetic Wier and her uncanny ability to make the closest of friends of total strangers. Her role as a photographer is ”to come in close and make an image that is evocative of their culture. However, I’m not a social documentary photographer. . . . What I’m photographing is what is beautiful in the world.”
Nevada’s images in this exhibition capture her world in a truly different light. The use of infrared light for the image of the uniformed Indian camel trader, Rajasthan India, Camel Trader (2010) is at first an eerie sight. It appears as if it is an unfinished painting with just the beginning pigments. One has to look diligently until one’s mind’s eye adjusts to the dusty mauve-colored cloudy sky, the blue-grayish line of camels, and the trader’s slightly yellowed tunic with mauve headpiece. Making sense of these unusual colors forces the viewer to commit to image content, to focus and look more carefully—not to see the print as it might look in color, but to understand its subject matter and appreciate its composition. By abandoning color, Nevada has forsaken photographic realism so as to see the world in a more subjective way. She shows us this exotic realm as a complex of ideas. Nevada directs the observer’s eyes to the key areas in the print and then leads us away and back from the camels and to the trader. It is not as if the camels are striking a formal pose for this market portrait; rather they behave as faithful spectators at a football match or as guests at a banquet table. Meanwhile, the trader strikes the pose of a refined British field marshal. In his turban, uniform, staff, bare legs and loafer shoes, he is juxtaposed with the hobbled rhythmic vertical camel legs and bare two-toed feet. The driver’s cane is the only item in the photograph that bears its natural color.
As has been the case with Nevada’s work, her composition is a narrative. Her image content is always enticing and the composition interesting in itself. Thus, her image compositions have pattern, structure and narrative, be it the dancer on stilts, the two young Buddhist monks seated with their umbrellas on the temple steps, the wagon driver, the young monk on the undulating temple parapet, or the Icelandic horses. Nevada’s work is pleasing to the eye and a constant affirmation of the joy of life.
Nevada shot this series with a digital camera and her prints are archival pigment prints.
Nevada Wier’s work has been published in National Geographic Adventures, Geo, Islands, National Geographic, Outdoor Photography, Outside, and Smithsonian Magazine. Nevada is a fellow of the Explorer’s Club and a member of the Women’s Geographic Society. She was the photographer for Land of Nine Dragons: Vietnam Today (1992.) Her current book in progress is A Nomadic Vision. She instructs at photographic workshops for the Santa Fe Workshops, and she leads custom photography tours with National Geographic Expeditions.
To see all 32 of the images in this exhibit please visit
Also showing: Janet Russek – The Tenuous Stem & Featured Artist: Alan Pearlman – Santa Fe Faces
CONTACT INFORMATION FOR VERVE GALLERY OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Jennifer Schlesinger Hanson, Director
219 E. Marcy Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Phone: 505.982.5009 • Fax: 505.982.9111