Australian photographer Kate Ballis has visited Palm Springs with an infrared camera and tinted filters to create these vibrant pictures, which show the muted desert city in lucid purple, pink and red tones.
Aiming to appreciate Palm Springs once again, Ballis made the decision to look at what she considers her second home through new eyes — which is via infrared and colored camera filters. The outcome is a set of photographs saturated in radioactive pinks and blues that give palm trees and the modernist architecture of the city an otherworldly quality.
The Melbourne-based photographer first started her Infra Realism series in February 2017, while visiting Modernism Week in Palm Springs. “I worked out pretty early on that my infrared photos would only produce the desired aesthetic if the sun was out and the sky was predominantly clear,” she explains.
“Healthy plants emit infrared light and take a certain color through the process, so I started viewing Palm Springs as a lush oasis, where succulents and palm trees thrived and synthetic grass can be identified through the viewfinder from 100 meters away,” Ballis says.
The moment she discovered the potency of infrared, Ballis played around with her camera filters before settling on the cotton-candy and magenta pink color scheme that spreads throughout the series. She attributes the over-the-top aesthetic to her childhood in the 1980s–it conveys a surreal but aspirational vision of America that she imagined from her bedroom in Australia.
The peculiar tension made by these vibrant colors gives a distressing edge, like you could be on a far away world or perhaps in a parallel universe, but at the core of it they all are amazingly wonderful. If you like infrared photography you should also check out the work by Reuben Wu and his amazing landscapes in infrared.