after nine trips to sunny palm springs, california — seeing it as an almost second home — kate ballis longed to embrace the desert domain in a new light. ‘I really wanted to re-enchant the city and the high-desert landscapes,’ the melbourne-based portrait, lifestyle, travel and fine-art photographer describes. ‘I had a sony digital camera converted for infrared, bought a variety of colored filters and the results completely changed the way I viewed the place, and beyond that, it provided me with a window into another world.’



through ballis’ infrared lens, the city’s iconic midcentury-modern architecture comes alive in candy-coated hues and sumptuous shades of pink, red and blue. lush plant life, desert succulents and palms are revealed in ways outside of physical perceptions, as the infrared spectrum of light emanating from plants sits just beyond the light spectrum visible to humankind. a colorful catalog of more than 50 images makes up ‘infra realism’, creating a palette a completely different to what we expect from a landscape. ‘I think I can’t escape the fact that I’m a child of the 80s who was swept up in the hyper color dream that was marketed to us through pink barbies driving blue mustangs, MTV, and in general the vision of america depicted to us in australia,’ ballis muses. ‘perhaps, in a way this series is a way of finally attaining the dream-land we were sold in the 80s.’

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