A camera allows one to captures a single, thin slice of whatever one wishes to preserve.
Within the folds of any subject, an imperceptible silence resides, even resonates– a silence unheard within the nooks and crannies of the ruffles of noise that blanket the world we all live in– such matters hinting that, camera in hand, we can freeze and catch a glimpse of what we can and cannot immediately witness through the possibilities and limitations of our senses.
Similarly, infrared photography permits one to capture a quality of light that lies just outside of our visible perception of the world, a quality of light that shines, perhaps, more brightly, more intensely, than we can ever truly experience.
These images merge both these photographic possibilities and focuses them on the minimalist simplicity of trees– some standing solitary, others huddled together, all of them bathing in the silence of light. Such compositions, especially in this day and age of social media and sharing, have become ubiquitous– and perhaps they even border on cliché– but the experience of seeing, really seeing, such moments reveals, again and again, how extraordinary such beauty is as well as how truly human it is to appreciate the simple beauty of the curve of a tree branch, the shapeliness of a tree trunk, and the multiple connections and intersections of a tree’s many lines. By exploring these qualities of silence and light, which reside just outside the scope of our senses, I seek to illuminate such beauty and remind the viewer of the wonder that such things even are.
About Nathan Wirth
Nathan Wirth, a native San Franciscan, is a self-taught photographer who uses a variety of techniques— including long exposure, infrared, and intentional camera movement— to express his unending wonder of the fundamental fact of existence by attempting to focus on the silence that we can sometimes perceive in between the incessant waves of sound that often dominate our perceptions of the world. Wirth, who earned both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English Literature from San Francisco State University, brings a deep appreciation of poetry to his explorations of place (especially the sea). Poets such as George Oppen, Seamus Heaney, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, Lorine Niedecker, and George Mackay Brown have played a fundamental role in shaping his attention to the things and places that he photographs. Often returning to the same locations many times, Wirth seeks to explore the silence and the sublimity of those places.
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