All photos by Nathan Wirth. Used with permission.
“I also don’t work on photography unless the weather is shitty.” says photographer Nathan Wirth, who was born and raised in San Francisco. He is a self-learned photographer that uses a variety of techniques— including long exposure and infrared— 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. This is partially the foundation for his project: Slices of Silence.
It also has a bit to do with Nathan’s recent studies involving Japanese traditions of Zen, rock gardens, and calligraphy– as well as the transience, impermanence, and imperfections of wabi-sabi. Nathan’s studies of calligraphy and Zen writings have led him to the practice of trying to achieve, while working on his photography, a mind of no-mind (mu-shin no shin), a mind not preoccupied with emotions and thought, one that can, as freely as possible, simply create.
This project features infrared landscape shot with a Sony camera–and while we think they’re quite dark and foreboding, Nathan personally does not.
We chatted with Nathan about his work for Slices of Silence and about how he almost didn’t become a photographer.