Wednesday 31 March 2010

Welcome Jarek Majcher

Jarek Majcher is an infrared photographer from Poland and a member of the Association of Polish Art Photographers (ZPAF). His online gallery joins our growing list but you can also see his infrared images from April 8 at the ANEKS art gallery in Opole, Poland. Jarek's URL is ... this link is to the English version but the site is multi-lingual.

Thursday 25 March 2010

Infrared word cloud so far

Using Wordle's great online tool for generating word clouds, here is the current overview of this blog. The more the word appears the bigger it is.

Friday 19 March 2010

1910-1930 ... filling the gap

You may recall I was concerned to have a big hole between Wood's infrared photos published in the Illustrated London News (ILN) in June 1911 and the first infrared photo published in the Times in March 1932. As my research continues I am plugging that gap.

A few key items:
  • Kenneth Mees, then at Wratten and Wainwright, took some infrared landscapes in Portugal, also in 1910 (when Wood took his first published infrared images). Mees acknowledges Wood's images from 1910 as earlier and I have not, as yet, seen the Mees photos but they are in the Kodak archive at the University of Rochester in New York state. Unlike the Wood images we have, which come to us only as printed versions in the Photographic Journal and ILN, Mees's images still exist as both negatives and large prints. Very exciting! (Mees was taken to America by Eastman and founded Kodak research. In the UK he was an active member of the Croydon Camera Club, which is still going strong.)
  • We know the military on both sides of the Atlantic were investigating infrared for long distance photography during the first world war. Now I have tracked down an image from almost that period. The Kodak archive includes an aerial infrared image from 1919 taken (probably) by the Fairchild Corporation.
  • Chappell, Wright and the two Shanes were exploring infrared photography at Lick Observatory in the 1920s. These included panoramic views of the Sierras and Yosemite Valley taken from over 100 miles away. Wright was interested in comparing terrestrial photos in both IR and UV in order to apply the same kinds of clarity (or lack of it) to photographs of Mars (at its 1924 conjunction) so that he could work out the possible consistency of the martian atmosphere.
The most fascinating piece of information concerns a photograph of a plaster figurine (bust) illuminated only by the near-infrared from two flat-irons. This image was taken at the Kodak labs and is included in the first two editions of Clark's book (and in the Kodak archive). It turns out that the image is a fake! The photographer admitted, much later, that he grew tired of waiting for the exposure to work and helped the process along with a blow-torch. That bust now becomes almost as apochryphal as Abney's kettle.

I have to report that the people at Rochester (both the University and George Eastman House) and at Lick Observatory have been amazingly helpful as I pursue this trans-Atlantic quest remotely. What did researchers do before the internet?

Sunday 14 March 2010

Candid Creativity ...

... is the gallery of Ingrid Abraham from London and she has joined our list of associated galleries:

[Later] Check out her superb fish-eye shot of Canary Wharf.

Friday 12 March 2010

It's not only rock 'n' roll ...

... but infrared as well.

There seems to be an implicit association between rock music and infrared, especially colour infrared. I have been meaning to mention three photographers with whom I have recently communicated over the centenary because they have connections with infrared and album covers for my kind of music. Here is an invitation for you to check out their web sites.

Elliott Landy

I knew Elliott for the cover photo of Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline album (which is not IR) but he has kindly sent me his superb colour infrared photo of Dylan for the RPS historic piece I am writing. He has some more colour infrared portraits on his site, including John Lee Hooker and Ornette Coleman, plus a whole host of 60s reportage and rock photos in glorious mono. His latest book is Woodstock Vision. Check out Landyvision.

Andee Nathanson

I had a fascinating conversation with Andee last week; a break-neck sprint through her memories of photographing Venice with Lord Snowden and of her 1960s colour infrared photography. The most famous of her images is the cover of Frank Zappa's Hot Rats album; a famously freaky shot of Miss Christine of the GTOs. There are more photos of the GTOs and other rock personalities, some in infrared, on Andee's web site.

Karl Ferris

While some may think of colour infrared as being psychedelic, one photographer in our little set openly labels his work as such. Karl Ferris Psychedelic Experience includes colour IR shots he took for album covers by Jimi Hendrix (the US version of Are You Experienced shot at Kew Gardens using a fish-eye lens) and Donovan (various versions of Gift from a Flower to a Garden) plus some stunningly weird infrared fashion shots. There is a Canadian documentary video about Karl and his photography on the site as well.

Another gallery

I received an email from Norbert Boeren from the Netherlands. His web site is added to our small but growing online gallery list. Norbert also has a current exhibition of infrared photos of animals at the Blijdorp zoo in Rotterdam, which runs until June. He tells me ...
On 4 large canvas prints each 1-2 meter I show several different zoo animals taken with a digital infrared camera. In cooperation with Blijdorp I had the opportunity to get very close to the animals.

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Associated Online Galleries

At the risk of this becoming so large as to be difficult to manage I have started a list of web site galleries of infrared images that are linked to us and hence to the project. They are not so much events as they will probably be available all the time but I appreciate the linking.

First up, besides my own, is casework from Andrew Casey. This is a work in progress and not everything is infrared, but the captions will tell you which are.

The deal is simple, if you have an online gallery of infrared images and would like to appear in this list then include the project logo on your front page, include a link to us (use the logo on your home page if possible), and let me know by emailing me at: .

Tuesday 2 March 2010

Four Visions on the road

You will no doubt recall in a previous blog entry I told you about an exhibition in New York by four infrared photographers: Jill Enfield, Elizabeth Opalenik, Theresa Airey and Susan Ruddick Bloom.

I'm delighted to welcome them to Infrared 100 as the first exhibition to join the celebrations. You can find out more on their web site: and see some great infrared images as well.

Here is the itinerary for the rest of their tour of the USA:
  • March 24 - April 29, 2010
    Center for the Arts, Manassas, VA
    Opening March 27th 6-8 pm
  • June 13 - 27, 2010
    C. William Gilchrist Museum, Cumberland, MD
    Opening Sunday June 13th 1-4:00 pm
  • July 5 - 25, 2010
    Maine Media Gallery, Rockport, Maine
    Closing event July 20th 6:30-8:00 pm
  • September 16 - October 15, 2010
    Creative Center for Photography - Freestyle Gallery, Hollywood, CA
  • November 5 - December 18, 2010
    Tilt Gallery, Phoenix, AZ
If you're in the neighbourhood (or is it neighborhood?) then please go along and support them. My New York spies tell me their NY show was great (if a little cramped). Note that the Hollywood show will be taking place across the centenary of Professor Wood's paper.