Nevada Wier
June 30th, 2010

There are a lot of photographers who create amazing photographs, and there are a few photographers who travel to the most remote regions of the planet to create photographs. Of the select few who manage to combine the two, I know of nobody who does so with more passion and talent than Nevada Wier.

Last night Nevada announced on facebook that she was having a new show at the VERVE Gallery of Photography in Santa Fe. I clicked through to the gallery’s website and found some of Nevada’s images that I had never seen. To say that they’re wonderful is to belittle them. There are some that nearly hypnotize me. They’re dynamic, absorbing, mesmerizing. Nevada creates some of the most compelling images I’ve ever seen, but I’ve seen too few of them. And I think that you have probably¬†also seen too few.

I have a book of hers, Adventure Travel Photography, that was published way back in 1992. Her photos are also in another book (also from 1992): Land of Nine Dragons: Vietnam Today. Unfortunately, I think that both are out of print. I don’t know of any other books of her photographs. (Although a photo of hers is the cover art of at least one other book on my shelves: Thant Myint-U’s The River of Lost Footsteps: A Personal History of Burma.)

I noticed that there is a small catalog of Nevada’s images to accompany the show; so I immediately ordered it. Then this morning I asked Nevada if she’d be willing to sign a copy that I can give away to a lucky reader here. She has always been extremely magnanimous; so I wasn’t surprised when she quickly agreed. I offered to pay, but the Director of the VERVE Gallery, Jennifer Schlesinger, told me that it’s “on the house”. I’ve said it before, and I’m sure to say it again, but you just don’t find a better group of people than you do in the photo community.

This is the deal. Leave a comment below, telling me something relevant (which image of Nevada’s you like, why you like her work, etc.) – just something to let me know that you’re not just after something free, and I’ll randomly draw a winner of a signed copy of the catalog of Nevada’s show at the VERVE Gallery. Easy. (And I myself can’t wait to see which images are in the catalog!)

If you happen to be in semi-reasonable proximity to Santa Fe, then go see the show. I know that Nevada is extremely fastidious when it comes to printing her photographs. I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing them in person, but I suspect that that is by far the best way of viewing them. In fact, I’m wondering whether or not I should plan an airport trip and see them in person for myself. (NW, I still have that bottle of tequila!)

The show runs from July 9th through August 28th. There’s an opening reception on July 9th (5-7pm) and a gallery talk with Nevada on July 10th (2-4pm). For more information: click here. Or if you’re new to this planet, find Nevada’s website by clicking here.

OK, leave your (relevant) comment and perhaps you’ll win one of the far too few publications of Nevada’s photographs. (She is, however, working on a new book project, and I’m extremely excited to see the results of that endeavor.) I’ll consider comments through midnight of July 5th.

UPDATE: Eric Kunimura is the winner! (Eric, let me know how to get Nevada’s catalog to you.) Thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments. If you can, then go see Nevada’s show. I’m going to seriously try to make it myself. I can’t make it for the opening this weekend, but I might be able to make it in a couple of weeks. And if you can’t make the show, you can still enjoy Nevada’s images on her site and blog. And you can purchase a copy of the catalog for yourself. (It’s extremely reasonably priced.)

25 Responses to “Nevada Wier”

  1. Intense, incredible, mesmerizing is good and most certainly inspiring on many levels. She just seems to capture a really intensity of subject, composition and expression. I will definitely bookmark her page!

  2. Heber Vega says:

    Nevada is one of the most talented “travel” photographers that I’ve ever seen in my whole life! I really like her devotion for art in here photography. The technique of blurring the image has been mastered by her.
    Thanks for bringing this up Jeffrey,


  3. The image above is absolutely mesmerizing! Perhaps you can ask if some of us who never wins anything can pay to get a signed copy. I would.

  4. Jerod Foster says:

    If you go to Nevada’s site, and look at the last image in the portrait section, you will see an elderly woman on a plain, textured background:

    I try to draw similarities between the people of other cultures and those cultures of our own, and in my time photographing rural Texas, I have seen the same eyes and look on older, hardened individuals that scream both wisdom and inquisitiveness. I appreciate that Nevada could capture the same expression I’ve seen many times from farmers, ranchers, and small-town pizzeria owners!

    Great post, Jeffrey!

  5. Mario Mattei says:

    Nevada’s images remind me of how beautiful our world is. She re-inspires my hunger to travel.

    Man of her images posses a playfulness, some embody the decisive moment, and several have my favorite element: ambiguity–that stretching of the cord that links what can be known and what remains as a multitude of possibilities for our imagination to ponder. It’s High art folks! Bravo, Nevada.

    I’d love to have a signed copy of the catalog!

  6. Sterling says:

    Wow, I’m so glad you wrote about her! I discovered her website a few months back but forgot to bookmark it. I was trying to remember her name a few weeks ago to show a friend this picture but unfortunately couldn’t. Now I can! I love ‘Woman with Coracle Boat’ because of the visual weight the woman has. I was trying to describe to my friend how objects of differing sizes can balance one another out despite their different physical masses.


  7. Ed Brydon says:

    Jeffry, thank you very much for bringing another great cultural photographer to our attention. I have to agree with Eli, the image above just stopped me in my tracks – “How did she do that!?”

    The images on her site and the Verve gallery have such a fantastic intimacy. But of all the ones I briefly looked through today the one of the Ethiopian Headman standing on a hillside near the Blue Nile River arrested me. His pose is so casual, relaxed, the viewer is drawn in because you are seeing nearly the same misty landscape as he is. Then suddenly you realize he is not carrying a crook or stick across his shoulders but a rifle – and the image takes on a whole other meaning of territory, pride and dominance. Aggressive tones for such a beautiful land.

  8. Erin Wilson says:

    Just wanted to add that if anyone wanted to pick up copies of Wier’s books, there are copies to be found through both and Used and new (at Alibris), as well as a French addition of Le Viet Nam Aujourd’hui (at Abebooks), which looks fun.

  9. Mark Olwick says:

    The thing I admire most about Nevada is that she takes something that many people do very well, cultural and travel photography, and takes it to the next level. That’s not easy when you consider many of the “heavy hitters” in the business, who are also exceptional.

    On top of that, she does it by using lenses (wides) and technique, that gets her very close to her subject, something many people are afraid to do – they hide behind their large 70-200 lenses. That goes to her being fearless.

    She’s defined her own style, refined it over the years, then willingly shares it through workshops, exhibitions, etc.

    Her work is important, her style unique and her open nature lets her move easily across cultures. A simply amazing combination.

    Mark Olwick

  10. Nevada is a great photographer but more than that, she is a wonderful person. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her in person, but have had a few conversations via Facebook, Twitter and blogs, and her generous nature is evident.

  11. nevada wier says:

    Well, I’m feeling really great about all of you, but especially Jeffrey. I am very honored that he wrote this post about my project. And, I appreciate all of your comments. I believe in being close and personal with people, although after that there can come a creative choice of stepping away and creating space… but you can’t do that without first forging a relationship. And, that goes for being willing to share in these in odd, yet wonderful, social networks. So excelsior! to all of us. nv

  12. Thanks for exposing your readers to Nevada’s stunning work. Her images and career inspire me and make me want to be a better photographer. I dream of doing humanitarian work like hers(and yours) in the future.

  13. sabrina says:

    Often there is one image from a photographer that captures our imagination. What Nevada has been able to do is create a whole body of work that leaves us breathless. Her images transport us to places most people will never experience and resonate so deeply with us, they are unforgettable.

    Thank you Jeffrey, for the opportunity to have a signed copy of some of her work.

  14. Iza says:

    I am subscribing to Nevada’s blog, but never before took the time to really look through her portfolio. Today, I got drawn to her Shadows collection. It is a great example of studying a single theme through different cultures and continents. Those 16 images tell the story of light (or shadows) as much as of how much we are all similar to each other. I think I am going to look through her other albums as well.

  15. I already won your last contest, so I don’t think my chances this time are very high. However, I just wanted to comment on Nevada’s work. Her photography is one of those that inspires me and at the same time makes me realize how much I still have to learn in this craft. If I get lucky again I’ll be drooling all over that catalog…

  16. Janat says:

    Nevada’s images are wonderful! In the Shadow portfolio, I love the one of the boats and people in the rain. A very expresive story without words. When I come back to it, there is something new to see it each time

  17. The color and contrast are the two things I like best about Nevada’s photographs. Nevada is an amazing photographer.

  18. ian furniss says:

    Nice post Jeffrey, and Nevada of course! Nevada’s work I think speaks for itself without me needing to recommend it tou much so instead i’d like to tell how I came across it in the hope & thought that it may be more beneficial to your readers.

    I actually came to Nevada’s work from the podcast she did as part of Matt Brandon’s depth of field series. It’s still available on iTunes or from Matt’s site and i’d recommend anyone to have a listen to it as it’s really inspirational. It was listening to her there and hearing her passion and enthusiasm not only for photography but for her work that made me go & check out her site. ‘The rest is history’ as the saying goes.

  19. Preeti says:

    I came across Nevada Wier sometime last year – I think you or David duChemin or another photographer on Twitter mentioned her. I absolutely love her work – I love how just looking at an image transports you to that place. I don’t think I can pick a favorite. As with other photographers/photos, my favorite changes based on my mood. I’m actually pretty thankful for Twitter – I’ve come across so many amazing photographers, both prolific and not so well-known, thanks to it!

  20. Jeffrey Chapman says:

    Maria, it’s random; so your chances are as good as anyone else’s. Of course, if you win, then I might have to ask you to prove that you have no affiliation with!

    Ian, thanks for mentioning Matt’s podcast. His entire Depth Of Field series is wonderful. For anybody who doesn’t know it, then by all means start with Matt’s discussion with Nevada, but then listen to them all. Matt’s a great guy, and it comes across in his interviews/discussions.

    Nevada, you don’t need to thank me. I thank you for being such an inspiration. As you can see by the posts of the others, your work really resonates. You’re the real deal! If there were any chance of me ever growing up, then I’d want to grow up to be you! (Fortunately, I’m happy to be stuck being me!)

    All, thank you so much for all the lovely things you’ve said about Nevada! I’m continually and repeatedly impressed by the caring, giving, selfless nature of this photo community. I wish I could invite you all over for steak and tequila. OK, well, I can, but I wish that you could all come! It’d be a hoot!

  21. Jeffrey Chapman says:

    Congratulations Eric!

  22. ian furniss says:

    Congratulations Eric, & thanks again to Jeffrey & Nevada for a great comp!

  23. This is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing Nevada’s wonderful work with us. I love being a part of a community that encourages, helps, and promotes fellow creatives.

  24. nevada wier says:

    Thanks everyone for your supportive comments. This has made my millennium. I was at the Verve Gallery yesterday and signed the small books; it has a selection of images from my first show, A Nomadic Vision, and some from this newer show, Outer India. The show is being hung today, and the opening is Friday. It will be exciting to see it on the walls! I am still working on this project and expect to publish a book when it is completed in about a year. All the best to all of you. And, thanks again Jeffrey, for being a such a great gatherer of the photo tribe. I am getting ready to overhaul my entire website so I can put up more images quicker and make the navigation more elegant. So please do check back. Excelsior! Nevada

  25. Nice blog! Added to my RSS

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