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Infrared Photography Transforms Central Park into Surreal Wonderland

infrared photography central park paolo pettigiani

Swathed in creamy reds and blues, infrared photography has helped Paolo Pettigiani transform Central Park into a surreal dreamscape. The Italian photographer began experimenting with the technique two years ago near his hometown of Turin, but it’s his #InfraredNYC series that has catapulted his work to another level.

“Talking about infrared, this is the first real project as a means of artistic expression,” Pettigiani shares. “What I like about this kind of photography is making visible something invisible. My aim is to show something recognizable under a new unexpected and personal point of view.”

Central Park proved to be the perfect location for Pettigiani’s vision, as the lush green trees and grass transform into milky, cotton candy pinks. The metamorphosis is owed to the fact that healthy vegetation absorbs blue- and red-light energy to fuel photosynthesis and create chlorophyll. Thus, the park’s hearty plant life reflects high quantities of infrared light that can be captured using special filters.

New York’s iconic architecture looms in the background, unmoved by infrared light, creating a juxtaposition between the cheerful pink vegetation and stoic urban cityscape. “I have chosen Central Park because I wanted to capture the unique environment of this park, that for me is like Paradise Island within the city,” Pettigiani explains. “Central Park is the place where people go to have a break from the busy routine of the city, or you can just sit there and it seems that you enter in a new peaceful world”

Limited edition prints of the series are available via Lumas Gallery.

Infrared photography transforms New York into a cotton candy dream.

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All images via Paolo Pettigiani.

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.

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