Kimbolton photographer Catherine Kelley sees infrared.

The self-taught photographer's Painting with Light exhibition is at the Feilding and Districts Art Centre until September 9.

Kelley picked up a camera six years ago and says infra-red are light rays that are reflected back to the camera and absorbed.

Her photographs capture the light in a way that delivers a surreal image.


Deciduous new growth is reflected as white, and chlorophyll reflects infrared.

"Infrared reflects back lighter, and dark (like the boughs of a tree) absorbs colour."

Kelley says she enjoys different worlds.

"I stumbled across an image online.

"It drew me in. I thought wow, that's really different."

Kelley speaks of the infra-red light on the light wave spectrum.

It's technical, but she likes learning.

"A scientist friend in Brazil explained how the light waves travel."


However, she said she was pretty much on her own figuring out infra-red, and understanding the visible spectrum of green, blue and yellow.

Kelley bought a Pentax, several actually, and sent one to the US to be converted to shoot infra-red.

"Infra-red has been around since the 60s.

"But this is my journey and I enjoy it.

"I get lost in the world (of infra-red), transported into this world."

In 2019 Kelley submitted her photos to the New Zealand Art Show in Wellington.


Over 3000 applied to enter the show and Elley was one of the final 150 to exhibit.

She said she felt overwhelmed to arrive to install her works and at the level of art she was showing with.

"It was held four days over Queen's Birthday at the TSB Arena, with every genre of art."

Kelley need not have felt out of her league because all six of her infra-red photographs sold in three days.

All Kelley's infra-red photographs are limited edition.

Painting with Light exhibition, Feilding and Districts Art Centre until September 9.