Paolo Pettigiani

Torino / New York

Infrared NY © Paolo Pettigiani

What would it look like if Willy Wonka designed New York City's Central Park? It might look something like “Infrared NYC,” a surreal series of infrared photographs from Paolo Pettigiani, a 24-year-old New York-based photographer. 

Pettigiani shot the city's famous park using infrared photography, in which the camera captures wavelenths of light that are normally too large to be seen by the human eye. Plants that have chlorophyll, such as grass, crops and trees, strongly reflect infrared light, while asphalt, water and other surfaces do not. Scientists can actually use this attribute to measure vegetation from space, using satellite photographs. Science aside, the result is beautiful: A dream-like landscape in which the grass and foliage appear like pink cotton candy against the blue-green of the sky, pavement and skyscrapers. (The Washington Post)

Photographers find Central Park irresistible. Everyone from selfie-snapping tourists to fine artists and what seems like every wedding photographer in the city shoots there. Paolo Pettigiani brings a refreshing point of view to the trope, transforming the stunning landscape into a salmon pink wonderland. The infrared filter provides a unique look at an iconic landscape. “My aim was to show a new colorful, and a little bit candy, vision of Central Park,” he says. Such filters block all but infrared light, which lies just beyond red on the color spectrum. You can’t see it, but many digital cameras can. It renders in hues ranging from white to red to purple depending on the camera, the filter, and the processing. 

Robert R. Wood pioneered infrared photography in the early 20th century, and the US military employed it for aerial reconnaissance during World War II. Many photographers have experimented with it, including Richard Mosse, a war photographer who documented the Congo in pink. That work inspired Pettigiani to experiment with infrared two years ago. He shot Infrared NYC after moving to Harlem in April. Pettigiani arrived early one morning to work in the soft morning light before the crowds arrived. He wandered the park for six hours, shooting through an infrared filter on the lens of his Canon 5D Mark III. He won’t say much about his technique, but does adjust color and contrast in Photoshop to give his images that dreamy look. “I always like to look at the world from my own point of view and with different eyes,” he says. (Wired)

Paolo Pettigiani è un giovane fotografo e graphic designer torinese di 25 anni, laureato in “Design e Comunicazione Visiva” al Politecnico di Torino. La formazione da graphic designer e la passione per la fotografia hanno dato vita ad un interessante mix, espresso attraverso una serie di progetti fotografici che si sviluppano tra l’astratto delle forme geometriche pure e dei colori forti di “Geometrie”, allo sperimentale e sognante progetto “Infrared NYC”.

Nel 2014, in occasione dell’Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea di Genova, espone presso la “SATURA Art Gallery” alcuni scatti della serie “Geometrie #1”. L’anno successivo uno scatto della stessa serie diventa protagonista della campagnia pubblicitaria del nuovo smartphone LG G-Stylo e il tablet G Pad 8.0 per LG Electronics.

Ad aprile 2016 si trasferisce a New York. Qui prende vita un progetto nuovo e diverso dai precedenti: “INFRARED NYC”. Paolo fotografa Central Park utilizzando una tecnica fotografica a infrarossi e traforma il famoso parco in uno scenario surreale dipinto di rosa. Questa serie ha suscitato l’interesse di blog e testate giornalistiche con risonanza mondiale come “The Washington Post”, “Wired”, “La Repubblica”, "La Stampa" e “Design Boom”. Con questa serie, inizia una collaborazione con “LUMAS Gallery”, una galleria che nasce a Berlino e con altre 40 sedi in tutto mondo.

A Luglio 2016, in occasione di un viaggio a Miami, è ispirato dalle torrette di salvataggio lungo la costa di Miami Beach, i loro colori pastello vivaci e le geometrie perfette compongono la serie “SHAPEGUARDS”.


All pictures are copyright © by Paolo Pettigiani  |  Official Website