The Invisible Light

Ron Rosenstock, Sunset at Sheeffrey, Co. Mayo, Ireland, 1986 - The Culturium

Ron Rosenstock, Sunset at Sheeffrey, Co. Mayo, Ireland, 1986 – The Culturium


A meaningful photograph is not a photo of something but is something in itself. A photograph that is only its subject matter is seen and quickly reduced to a memory of the particular subject. A meaningful photograph is so much more. As with a meditative and creative experience, there is no end to its possible depth.

Not only is such a photograph an interpretation of the light that falls on the original subject matter, it is also a magical combination of that quality of light and the delicate balance achieved by light and dark areas in the image. Perhaps there exists an ancient formula for the proportions of light and dark areas within an image required to evoke in the viewer a profound depth of meaning.

As with other forms of art through the ages, photography can connect us with this deeper meaning. Each of us seeks a direction in life without knowing the final destination. As artists and seekers we are drawn by a creative force to the Light within and so begins our life’s journey. As viewers of art we open ourselves to connecting with meaning and spirit.

Ron Rosenstock - The Culturium

The word “light” has been used since language was first used. Scientifically speaking, it refers to the electromagnetic spectrum or wavelengths. The visible spectrum is between 400 and 700 nanometers and a colour range of violet through red. Wavelengths can be accurately measured far beyond the visible spectrum.

Infrared has a longer wavelength than visible red light. An infrared photograph is made using a combination of visible and infrared light.

My interests have always been based on the spaces in between. Between the ephemeral and the realistic. In 1972, I wrote for Camera Magazine from Lucerne, Switzerland, “My life is a search for answers for which the questions as well as the answers are wordless.”

Ice Forms, Tasiilaq, Greenland, 2015 - The Culturium

Ice Forms, Tasiilaq, Greenland, 2015 – The Culturium

For me, infrared photography is on the border line, the veil between the known and the unknown. My work doesn’t pretend to be documentary or abstract, or to make a statement of any kind. It is a search as to what is beyond the doorway of perception. What draws me, what speaks to me, is a mystery. I know something is calling me. It’s all part of light, as is the word “enlightenment”.

Throughout history, from our earliest beginnings, there have been stories of near-death experiences where people who have been brought back have experienced being drawn to a very bright light.

I believe there is far more unknown about light than there is known. My infrared photographs are an attempt at gaining deeper insights into my own true nature and the true nature of what is.

Mist Rising, Machu Picchu, 2013 - The Culturium

Mist Rising, Machu Picchu, 2013 – The Culturium

For many years, people have commented about my wonderful life, travelling all over the world making beautiful photographs. The truth is … I am a missionary. My mission is to be one of the caretakers of our world. I will work at this mission by raising the awareness of as many people as possible. Awareness of how beautiful and important our planet is. It is a living, breathing organism.

The American Indians knew this fact over a thousand years ago and taught it to their children. Because there are so many of us now living in this technological era of rapid change, we must not only think of earth as “mother earth” but also as brother, sister, mother, father and lover earth. We won’t make it without her support and she won’t make it without ours.

She speaks to us in many languages. The language of wind, rain, bird song and a silence so profound, it encourages us to reach into the transcendental to seek the source of that silence.

Hvítserkur, Iceland, 2008 - The Culturium

Hvítserkur, Iceland, 2008 – The Culturium

My desire is to reach as many people as possible and convert them into also being a caretaker. On the one hand it doesn’t take much convincing. Watching the golden leaves fall like snowflakes, watching the waves, listening to nature, sensing nature, all stirs within us the call; the call to join with nature and recognize our true selves.

My way of reaching people is through my photographs. Raising consciousness occurs at the moment of recognition.

We are what we see.


Ron Rosenstock, teacher and photographer, has been leading photo tours in different locations throughout the world since 1970. A Massachusetts resident, he has had more than 100 exhibits of his work in the United States and Europe. The author of four books, his most recent publication, The Invisible Light, is a collaboration of photography and verse with poet, Gabriel Rosenstock (see Uttering Her Name in Margutte).

This article was first published by The Culturium.

The Culturium

The Culturium is devoted to showcasing the compositions of writers, filmmakers, artists, performers, musicians, philosophers, sages and poets who have delved deep into the silence within and created work that is timeless, wise and beautiful.

With so many cultural, arts and mind body spirit sites vying for attention, The Culturium sincerely hopes to offer readers a more reflective and meaningful visit.