Black and White Photography by Nathan Wirth

Nathan Wirth, a native San Franciscan, is a self-learned 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. 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, James Schuyler, Seamus Heaney, Lorine Niedecker, Elizabeth Bishop, William Wordsworth, Robert Frost, 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. Wirth makes his living teaching English Composition at City College of San Francisco. 

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posted by Margaret


Taken by Infrared Converted Nikon D90. It has 720nm infrared filter in front of CMOS sensor.

Equipment : IR modified Nikon D40x, AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G, Hoya R72 Infrared Filter
Exif : 50mm (35mm equalivent:75mm), f/8, iso200, 1/160sec.
Location : Belgrad Ormanları / İSTANBUL


Mostly Mute Monday: Our Nearest Galaxy In Three Unique Views

“Ultraviolet images from Swift and GALEX showcase the hottest, youngest, bluest stars, which are found in clusters along the spiral arms and in the very center. In the infrared, from WISE and Spitzer, the cool gas shows where future generations of stars will form next. The shorter infrared wavelengths also highlight stars irrespective of whether galactic dust obscures them or not.”

If we want to know where new stars have formed, where the hottest ones are, where new ones will be forming and what lies behind the dust, we have to look in wavelengths beyond what our eyes can see. Yet our greatest space observatories can do exactly this, at both longer and shorter wavelengths, revealing a whole galaxy’s worth of secrets!

The Flame Nebula in Infrared 

What lights up the Flame Nebula? Fifteen hundred light years away towards the constellation of Orion lies a nebula which, from its glow and dark dust lanes, appears, on the left, like a billowing fire. But fire, the rapid acquisition of oxygen, is not what makes this Flame glow. Rather the bright star Alnitak, the easternmost star in the Belt of Orion visible just above the nebula, shines energetic light into the Flame that knocks electrons away from the great clouds of hydrogen gas that reside there. Much of the glow results when the electrons and ionized hydrogen recombine. 

Credit:  ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA; Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit