Nathan Wirth, who was born and raised in San Francisco, 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. Nathan earned both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in English Literature from San Francisco State University and brings a deep appreciation of poetry to his explorations of place (especially the sea). Poets such as George Oppen, Gary Snyder, Seamus Heaney, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, Mary Oliver, Lorine Niedecker, 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, Nathan seeks to explore the silence and the sublimity of those places. In addition to poetry, Nathan is profoundly influenced by the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, Edward Hopper, Mark Rothko, and Camille Pissarro and the photography of Michael Kenna, Edward Weston, and Wright Morris.
Recently, Nathan has been studying and integrating into his work 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.
Nathan also curates and edits, slices of silence, an online place to read and view conversations about photography.
Nathan, after living in San Francisco for the first 44 years of his life, moved to Marin County and currently makes his living teaching English Composition at City College of San Francisco.
- Nathan is represented by The Great Highway Gallery in San Francisco. Please contact John Lindsey with your questions and requests for prints.
- 2017 — Marin County Fair, San Rafael, CA. June 30-July 4, 2017 (13 images)
- 2017 — Wanderlust Exhibition, Dickerman Prints, San Francisco, CA June – 2017 (Group Exhibition- 1 image)
- 2017 — B&W Minimalism Magazine Photography Exhibition, Center for Contemporary Creations, Isfahan, Iran – May 26, 2017 – June 20, 2017
- 2017 — B&W Minimalism Magazine Photography Exhibition, Yadegaran Art Gallery, Kerman, Iran – February 17-24, 2017 (4 images)
- 2016 — International Symposium for Contemplative Studies, San Diego, CA – November 10-13, 2016 (Exhibited with Matthieu Ricard)
- 2015 — Stone Altars (book release and solo show), The Great Highway Gallery, San Francisco, CA September 19, 2015 – October 17, 2015
- 2015 — Marin County Fair, San Rafael, CA, July 1-5, 2015 (6 images).
- 2015 — Golden Camera Awards Exhibition. Kyiv Photography School, Kiev, Ukraine, March 31-April 30, 2015 (6 images)
- 2015 — Golden Camera Awards Exhibition. National Museum of Taras Shevchenko, Kiev, Ukraine, March 27-29, 2015 (6 images)
- 2014 — a slice of silence (solo show), The Great Highway Gallery, San Francisco, CA May 3, 2014 – July 4, 2014
- 2014 — Marin County Fair, San Rafael, CA, July 2-6, 2014 (4 images).
- 2013 — Marin County Fair, San Rafael, CA, July 3-7, 2013 (3 images).
- 2016 — Artist Series Wine Label for Kenwood Vineyards
Talks & Performances
- 2013 — Photo Performance Collaboration with Phil Nimmons and David Braid at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Canada, November 2013
- 2013 — Photo Talk for the Pacific Association for the Continental Tradition Conference at the University of San Francisco, September 2013
- 2017 — Marin County Fair. Photographer of the Year; Best of Show Monochrome Print; Jack Fulton Award; One Honorable Mention
- 2017 — Moscow International Foto Awards. Third Place (Bronze) – Nature-Trees
- 2017 — Dodho Magazine, Black and White Photographer of the Year 2017 – Awarded Merit of Honor
- 2017 — International Color Awards. 3 Nominations – Nature Category, Abstract Category
- 2016 — Tokyo International Foto Awards, Honorble Mention – Nature Category
- 2016 — Black and White Spider Awards. Honorable Mention (Nature Category), Three Nominations (Nature Category, Fine Art Category)
- 2016 — International Photography Awards. Two Honorable Mentions
- 2016 — PX3. Honorable Mention
- 2016 — International Color Awards. Nominee – Nature
- 2016 — International Photography Awards – Family of Man. Honorable Mention
- 2015 — Black and White Spider Awards. Honorable Mention – Nature
- 2015 — Moscow International Foto Awards. First Place – Nature-Trees; Three Honorable mentions in the Nature and Abstract Categories
- 2015 — International Photography Awards. Honorable Mentions – Fine Art-Landscape; Nature-Landscapes
- 2015 — Siena International Photography Awards. Finalist, Landscapes
- 2015 — Marin County Fair. All-Around Best Print of Show; First Place – Monochrome; First Place – Creative-Alternate; Special Landscape Award; Three Honorable Mentions
- 2015 — PX3. Honorable Mention
- 2015 — Golden Camera Awards. First Place – Landscape
- 2014 — Stark Awards. Honorable Mention – Zen / Minimalism
- 2014 — International Photography Awards. Honorable Mentions – Fine Art-Landscape; Fine Art-Other, Nature-Landscapes
- 2014 — Marin County Fair. 1st Place Ribbon, Special Category, State Parks; Honorable Mention, Creative
- 2014 — PX3. Honorable Mention, Collage
- 2013 — International Photography Awards. Honorable Mention – Deeper Perspective
- 2013 — Marin County Fair. 2nd Place Ribbon, Monochrome, Honorable Mention, Monochrome
- 2012 — International Photography Awards. Honorable Mentions – Fine Art, Portrait & Fine Art, Landscape
- 2017 — (Print) Cover Art for Mountains, Rivers, and the Great Earth: Reading Gary Snyder and Dogen in an Age of Ecological Crisis by Jason Wirth
- 2017 — (Print) Four images used in Engaging Dogen’s Zen: The Philosophy of Practice as Awakening edited by Tetsuzen Jason M. Wirth, Shudo Brian Schroeder, Kanpu Bret W. Davis
- 2017 — (Print) The Light of the Sun Becomes the Sea, a collaboration with poet Peter Weltner, a book of poems (4 images)
- 2017 — (Online) Dodho Magazine (Infrared Silence)
- 2016 — (Online) Petapixel (Imaginations)
- 2016 — (Print) Buddhadharma Magazine
- 2016 — (PDF) The Black and White Landscape Companion Book (interview and images)
- 2016 — (Print) Lion’s Roar Magazine
- 2016 — (PDF) Pentaprism Magazine #13 (interview, cover image, and images)
- 2015 — (Print) Korean Translation of Living This Life Fully: Stories and Teachings of Munindra by Mirka Knaster (published by Alchemist Books in South Korea) 15 of my images used
- 2015 — (PDF) Blur Magazine
- 2015 — (PDF) Shades of Grey: Fine Art Photography Magazine
- 2015 — (Online) Mother Nature Network (Infrared Silence)
- 2015 — (Online) C|Net (Imaginations)
- 2015 — (Online) Seeing Neon: Art | Technology | Design (Imaginations)
- 2015 — (Online) Dodho Magazine (Suburban Observations)
- 2015 — (PDF) Square Magazine Imaginations
- 2015 — (Print) Stone Altars, a collaboration with poet Peter Weltner, a book of poems with 8 images.
- 2015 — (Online) Dodho Magazine, April 2015 (Suburban Observations)
- 2015 — (Print) Spiritus: A Journal of Christian Spirituality, Spring 2015, Vol. 15, Number 1 (1 image)
- 2015 — (PDF) Pentaprism Magazine, March 2015
- 2014 — (Online) Poetry / Photography collaboration with poet Peter Weltner, the light ekphrastic, August 2014
- 2014 — (PDF) Photograph (Interview and Feature), 2014
- 2013 — (Print & PDF) Plus One Collection: Volume Three
- 2013 — (Print) Art Booklet and Cover for Nimmons’n’Braid – Suite St. John’s: Falling Through, 2013
- 2013 — Poster Art for the Balagula Theatre (Lexington, Kentucky) production of E.G.O. : The Passions of Eugene Gladstone O’Neill, 2013
- 2012 — (Print & PDF) Plus One Collection: Volume Two
- 2012 — Cover Art for David Braid, Verge (winner of the Juno Award), 2012
- 2011 — (Print & PDF) Plus One Collection: Volume One
- Phoblographer: 1 (Infrared Silence) | 2 (Imaginations)
- Visual Q&A: COOPH (The Cooperative of Photography)
- Vision Drawings: The Sessions
- Andrew S. Gibson’s Blog
- Dodho Online Photography Magazine
- Photography Office
- feature shoot – 1 | 2
- interesting photographers
- The Giving Lens
- A Still World
- Art Limited
- Stark Magazine
- The Behance Network
- Photography Served 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
- ND Magazine
- Integral Life
Camera Equipment Used
- Nathan uses a few different cameras (one of those cameras is converted for reading infrared light).
- Nathan attaches lenses to those cameras.
- Nathan uses ND and Graduated ND filters with those lenses.
- Nathan uses a cheaply made, but very effective, time release shutter thingy.
- Nathan uses a bag to carry these things around.
- Nathan uses a tripod.
- Nathan processes his images with software.
- Nathan prints his own prints with a printer that he owns.
- Nathan, because he loves it so much, will state that he uses Hahnemuhle papers for his prints.