Digital Cameras

From city to coast: The incredible infrared art of Paolo Pettigiani

From city to coast: The incred...
These were shot using a DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone
These were shot using a DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone
View 26 Images
The Maldives Series
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The Maldives Series
These were shot using a DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone
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These were shot using a DJI Mavic Pro 2 drone
The photography technique captures invisible spectrums of light, with organic matter containing chlorophyll glow with a red hue
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The photography technique captures invisible spectrums of light, with organic matter containing chlorophyll glow with a red hue
The Burj Khalifa from the desert
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The Burj Khalifa from the desert
The drone's camera has been converted into a full-spectrum camera
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The drone's camera has been converted into a full-spectrum camera
Pettigiani uses a filter blocking light above 590 nanometers 
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Pettigiani uses a filter blocking light above 590 nanometers 
This is the first time Pettigiani has photographed tropical islands
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This is the first time Pettigiani has photographed tropical islands
The Maldives
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The Maldives
The technique captures a gorgeous color contrast between the blue oceans and the red trees
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The technique captures a gorgeous color contrast between the blue oceans and the red trees
The colors are captured mostly in camera with very little post Photoshop work
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The colors are captured mostly in camera with very little post Photoshop work
A red island in the Maldives
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A red island in the Maldives
Shot with a DJI Mavic Pro 2
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Shot with a DJI Mavic Pro 2
Pettigiani mostly targets the 590 nm wavelength of infrared light
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Pettigiani mostly targets the 590 nm wavelength of infrared light
Blue meets red
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Blue meets red
The Maldives, in the Indian ocean
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The Maldives, in the Indian ocean
This is the first time Pettigiani has photographed tropical islands
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This is the first time Pettigiani has photographed tropical islands
The Maldives Series
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The Maldives Series
Dubai at night
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Dubai at night
Photographed from the Shangri-La hotel in Dubai
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Photographed from the Shangri-La hotel in Dubai
Infrared photography captures a spectrum of light normally invisible to the human eye
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Infrared photography captures a spectrum of light normally invisible to the human eye
Green becomes red in this kind of infrared photography
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Green becomes red in this kind of infrared photography
The Burj Khalifa
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The Burj Khalifa
Pockets of red suggest more greenery in Dubai than one would have expected
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Pockets of red suggest more greenery in Dubai than one would have expected
Pockets of red suggest more greenery in Dubai than one would have expected
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Pockets of red suggest more greenery in Dubai than one would have expected
A famous highway intersection in Dubai
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A famous highway intersection in Dubai
The Dubai Series
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The Dubai Series

Italian photographer Paolo Pettigiani has been experimenting with capturing the infrared spectrum of light for several years, most notably turning New York's Central Park into a psychedelic wonderland. His latest work explores two fascinating infrared contrasts: the imposing concrete jungle of Dubai and the amazing tropics of the Maldives.

Pettigiani's work is primarily created using full-spectrum converted cameras. While the Dubai photographs used a converted Nikon D750, the Maldives shots were taken using a converted DJI Mavic Pro 2.

The Maldives Series
The Maldives Series

"Those conversions involve removing the lowpass filter in the camera and replacing it with a clear glass," Pettigiani explains to New Atlas. "This enables the full sensitivity of the camera's sensor, making it sensitive to UV, visible, and IR light. This allows you to pick and choose which parts of the spectrum your camera captures depending on which screw-in filter you use in front of your lens."

Both sets of images were created using a 590 nanometer filter, with only mild editing work done in Photoshop to slightly adjust the colors. The technique essentially takes organic elements containing chlorophyll, and captures the infrared light they reflect, turning an invisible wavelength into a visible otherworldly red hue.

The Burj Khalifa from the desert
The Burj Khalifa from the desert

The Dubai photographs compellingly highlight an impressive amount of greenery in a city filled with concrete and glass structures. Pettigiani's Maldives images, meanwhile, offer a great contrast to the city shots. Celebrating aerial photography, the images offer a unique perspective on classical tropical landscapes, contrasting the gorgeous blue ocean and white sands with the dense patches of surreal red trees and jungle.

Pockets of red suggest more greenery in Dubai than one would have expected
Pockets of red suggest more greenery in Dubai than one would have expected

Take a look through our gallery at more of Pettigiani's amazing city and coast infrared photographs.

Source: Paolo Pettigiani, Instagram

1 comment
owlbeyou
All these years I have been fascinated by fluorescent colors with UV light used to light a physical space. This opposite method relies on photographs, which explains why Mr. Petigianni has to watermark even the smaller pics. It is interesting though, even if someone can do the same thing of turning green to red with Photoshop without any filters. Still, to see these images in Hi Res must be cool, but they do show how terribly flaky much of the architecture of Dubai is.