Donald Myers, The Unseen World of Infrared Photography
March 4 to March 26, 2021
Reception: March 5 from 5:00 to 8:30
22 West 7th Ave. Eugene, Oregon
12:00 to 6:00 Tuesday through Sunday
Free and open to the public
The Unseen World of Infrared Photography
Infrared, or “IR” photography, offers photographers of all abilities and budgets the opportunity to explore a new world – the world of the unseen. Infrared (IR) photography follows the basic photographic concept of “capturing light,” except it captures the ever-present infrared light around us that is virtually impossible to see with the naked eye. In scientific terms, visible light that reflects all the colors that we can see is measured between wavelengths of 400-700 nanometers (nm), while “near IR” or infrared is measured between 700-1,000 nm.
However, infrared light can be felt as heat. And since heat can be transferred, elements like colors, textures, the sky, trees, and even human subjects will reflect and radiate infrared light differently as opposed to visible light. Green trees, plants, and clouds that reflect the most infrared light will look whiter while blue skies that don’t reflect IR will translate into black areas. Infrared shooters typically use filters with varying color strengths or photo editing programs to create even more unique (albeit slightly eerie) photographic effects.
This type of photography dates back to the age of film photography. In fact, it became so popular that Jimi Hendrix, Donovan, and Frank Zappa’s album covers in the ‘60s were inspired by the psychedelic and artistic results of IR photography. However, shooting infrared back then was a lot more complicated (and expensive) compared to today, mainly due to film’s unpredictability and the expense that came with specialized film rolls.
Through our journey in life there is struggle and reward. I try to make sense of it all by taking photos. I’m fascinated by the people and places I encounter along my journey and try to document it in interesting ways.
I began my photo journey in Vietnam over fifty years ago and have been documenting my journey ever since. I studied photojournalism at Arizona State University and worked for various newspapers and magazines.
I recently became interested in Infrared Photograph in an effort to try something different and I was fascinated by the work of my colleagues who were exploring the world of IR. It brings an entirely new element to my work that expands my view of an already amazing world.