The latest show in SECCA's local-centric exhibition series features infrared portraits by Will Willner.

On View June 26, 2021 – July 25, 2021 | Preview Gallery

SECCA's Southern Idiom exhibition series returns in July with In Different Light, a collection of photo portraits shot with an infrared camera by Will Willner. Join us for a special reception with the artist on Saturday, June 26 from 1pm to 4pm.


In celebration of my 71st birthday (which incidentally also marks my 50th year photographing), I decided to photograph 71 men I know and more importantly, like. The men were photographed with an Infrared Camera resulting in the "different" appearance of these portraits.

Although part of "sunlight" we are unable to see infrared (IR) radiation (instead we perceive it as heat). The infrared camera records IR and but doesn't see visible radiation (light). In essence these photographs were made with a "light" we cannot see.

Infrared photography is an essential medical photography tool. Useful for bite mark analysis and delineation of venous blood flow patterns. Appealing to me as an artist is the ability of IR to penetrate the skin to a depth of about 3mm, allowing a view literally underneath the skin.

All portraiture requires a sense of cooperation; better ones demonstrate a degree of trust between photographer and subject. Permission to look under the skin takes it all a bit further and for that reason I chose to photograph with an Infrared Camera.

I'd like to thank all who agreed to participate and bared their skin to the camera.


Will has worked as a medical photographer, most recently as director of photography at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He has also taught photography at UNCSA, in the Art Department at WFU and in the medical illustration program at the Medical College of Georgia. As a fine art photographer, Will has over 90 group and solo shows. He continues to photograph and look at photographs every day and says doing so brings him great joy.

About Southern Idiom

SECCA's Southern Idiom exhibition series launched in 2017 as a platform for elevating and celebrating the work of Winston-Salem artists. In contrast to many exhibitions at SECCA, works on view in Southern Idiom are available for purchase. Will Willner's exhibition marks the 21st installment of the series, whose alumni artists include Sharon Hardin, Terri Dowell-Dennis, Ashley Johnson, Frank Campion, Mona Wu, Owens Daniels, Jessica Singerman, Leo Rucker, Kevin Calhoun, Paul Travis Phillips, Laura Lashley, Sam "The Dot Man" McMillan, and others.