Infra Realism

A sizzling playground for the wealthy, the wild and the wonderful, Palm Springs has long been an artistic muse and second home for Australian artist Kate Ballis. But after photographing its Mars-like deserts, Mid-Century houses, retro pools and luxury vintage cars countless times, it came to appear ordinary through the lens of her camera, and so she sought to re- enchant the city and its surrounding landscapes through some other medium. Converting a digital camera for infrared, thus extending the edge of the visible spectrum exponentially, Ballis’s viewfinder completely changed the way we view Palm Springs, offering a window into amysterious realm between reality and the surreal. And so, the Infra Realism series was born, growing to include other unique desert-scapes, such as Joshua Tree, Sedona and the Atacama Desert.

In Infra Realism, the infrared spectrum of light emanating from plants sits just beyond the light spectrum visible to the naked eye, and through Kate’s photographs, we are able to identify the hidden things in nature that we, as humans, are not typically equipped to see, those that lie just outside of our physical perceptions. Here, healthy plants emit infrared light and take a certain colour through the process, and so these sometimes barren landscapes become a lush oasis where succulents and palm trees thrive and synthetic grass can be identified through the viewfinder. Comprising more than 100 colour imagesphotographed over the course of several trips, Infra Realism offers a never-before-seen take on some of North and South America’s most iconic destinations in a brilliant combination of technology and magic.

Manuscript Publishing
October 2018
ISBN: 9780500500712

Author: Kate Ballis
Publisher: Mitchell Oakley Smith
Design: Marcus King