Wildwood Art Gallery: Surreal Landscapes Through Infrared Photography

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An alternative and surreal world exists, part real and part dream, through the use of infrared photography. See an exhibit of infrared photography by Patricia Saldana of Lincoln, Neb.,during the month of September at the Wildwood Art Gallery, Nebraska City, Neb.

IR photography is simply painting the natural scene in a unique way.

Take a visual journey into the alternative world of infrared color photography during the month of September at the Wildwood Art Gallery, 420 Steinhart Park Rd., Nebraska City, Neb. Patricia Saldaña of Lincoln, Neb., the featured artist, will be exhibiting a series of new near-infrared color photographs of southeast Nebraska landscapes from Sept 6 through Sept. 26. Saldaña uses photography primarily as a creative tool to illustrate the world around her. Her special interests are in near-infrared color and night photography. The exhibit coincides with Nebraska City’s Apple Jack Festival.

Infrared photography has been around for more than 100 years, when an American physicist named Robert Williams Wood sensitized photographic plates and published the first known black and white infrared images in 1910. Today, infrared, or IR photography, offers digital and film photographers the ability to explore a new world using special IR filters that render a variety of colors, as well as digital cameras converted specifically for IR photography.

“There are many types of art that give us a new way of viewing the world,” Saldaña said. “For me, near-infrared photography is not photographic gimmickry, but a way of expressing my creativity. IR photography is simply painting the natural scene in a unique way,” she said.

Infrared light is light that cannot be seen with the human eye and is generally divided into three types: near-infrared, mid-infrared and far-infrared. Near-infrared light is the light that exists closest to the visible light spectrum, just beyond the visible red light. Almost all radiation from the Sun consists of infrared in various wavelengths that can only be captured with special filters on a camera’s lens or a camera that has been converted for infrared photography.

Saldaña stated that near-infrared photography should not be confused with thermal imaging or Thermography. Thermal infrared imaging works on even longer wavelengths than near infrared and records heat radiation emitted from objects, where the warmer the object, the brighter the color.

“We have all seen thermal images where the surface temperature of an object is recorded in bright yellows, reds and blues,” said Saldaña. “Near-infrared photography renders ‘false’ color, that is, objects are recorded in colors different from those photographed in visible light,” she said. Near-infrared photography, for example, may render green plants as white, yellow, turquoise or blue depending up the infrared filter used.

“I absolutely love the surrealistic and odd beauty recorded through near-infrared photography,” said Saldaña. “Near-infrared photography changes our expectations of color as we know it in the visible, real world. And I have always done my best work when creating outside the realm of reality.”

Saldaña uses a converted digital SLR (single-lens reflex) camera with a custom super-color infrared filter located within the camera in front of the digital sensor. Her super-color infrared filter transforms all green vegetation into various shades of blue and skies from blue to shades of yellow-gold or orange. According to Saldaña, the range of color that can be achieved depends on the quality of the light and time of day.

More of Saldaña’s photographic work and a sneak preview of her images for the Nebraska City display can be seen on her Website at http://www.patriciasaldana.com. You can also follow her adventures in art and photography on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/patriciasaldanaphotography.

Learn more about the Wildwood Historic Center at http://www.wildwoodhistoriccenter.org and follow on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wildwood-House/123838784322231.


Patricia A. Saldaña, Lincoln, Neb., 402-416-1543, psaldana_photo(at)outlook(dot)com

Pat Friedli, Wildwood Art Gallery & Kimmel Nelson Art Center, Nebraska City, Neb., 402-873-6229 or 402-874-9600, pat.friedli(at)gmail(dot)com

Gail Wurtele, Wildwood Art Gallery, Nebraska City, Neb., 402-873-6340, wildwoodbarn(at)windstream(dot)net

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