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Arts & Culture
VIZ CITY BLOG: Audio, photos, transcripts & more by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.Airs every other Wednesday during Morning Edition and Here & Now.

Sandi O'Brien: "In a Different Light" Infrared Photography

Sandi O'Brien, Infrared Photographer
Sandy Brown Jensen

Viz City was privileged to interview Sandy O’Brien, Infrared Photographer on Feb. 27, 2018 regarding her current show at the Maude Kerns Art Center, "In a Different Light: Infrared Photography: Paul Barden, Rich Bergeman, Phil Coleman, Jack Larson, & Sandi O’Brien." The exhibit dates are February 23 - March 23


Stepping into the Maude Kerns Art Center right now is like stepping into an alternate universe where the familiar world is strange.

This is a show called “In a Different Light: Infrared Photography,” and we’re talking to infrared photographer Sandi O’Brien. "So what I like about it is that the light that it sees is infrared only, which our eyes can’t see, and so anything that is alive, has moisture in it, so trees and grass and lichen, and that sort of thing, turns white. And the clouds are very white. Usually the skies and nice and dark, so you have a lot of drama."

The show includes five photographers, each with a unique viewpoint but all of them share the ghostly light of infrared, which I asked Sandi to describe: "Magic, enchanted, other-worldly...dreamlike, definitely."


"To the Beach." Digital Infrared Photograph by Sandi O'Brien
Credit Sandi O'Brien
"To the Beach." Digital Infrared Photograph by Sandi O'Brien

Sandi tells me that there are no photo apps that can take infrared on a cell phone. She has a small point and shoot digital camera that she has had converted to take infrared. And some photographers still use film. "Some of the photographers at this show use a filter, and they are shooting black and white, so they would use a really deep red filter so it cuts out most of the color and just reads the infrared light. "

However each artist gets there, they all share this quality of “a different light,” as the show is called. "With the infrared, I’m just really doing for that 'somewhere else' feel, I guess. There’s a couple of them where you just expect that there be fairies and Little People back in the background somewhere!"

 In a Different Light: Infrared Photography with Paul Barden, Rich Bergeman, Phil Coleman, Jack Larson, and our guest Sandi O’Brien will be up at Maude Kerns Art Center through March 23.

Viz City is co-produced by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.