Stunning Aerial Photos Capture the Bubble Gum Hues of France’s Salt Fields

Salt Fields in Camargue by Paolo Pettigiani

Photographer Paolo Pettigiani is known for his infrared images, but in his new series of photos, he didn't need any special lenses to inject some pink into the compositions. The bubble gum hue prevalent in this new work is all natural. It's the work of Dunaliella salina, which is also the name of the series.

This micro-algae is plentiful in salt fields like the ones that Pettigiani photographed in the Camargue region of France. And their bright pink appearance allowed Pettigiani to create the surreal atmospheres that he's known for in his work without using any special technology. The Italian photographer used the strong contrast between the pink water, green seaweed, and blue sky to put together a striking set of images.

In traveling to France, Pettigiani was fulfilling a long-held desire to photograph salt flats. These environments meet his requirements for all of his photo projects due to their geometry, minimal spaces, and colors. But it wasn't easy to find the perfect setting for his photoshoot. “I have always been attracted by the colors and shapes of the saline but it’s really hard to find a colorful one in Central Europe. A couple of years ago I found some images of the Salin d'Aigues-Mortes in France on the web,” he tells My Modern Met. “The Dunaliella salina is a perfect example of how a natural environment can inspire my creativity: the geometry and the minimalism of the lines created by water and sand, paired with the natural elements of seaweed.”

The minimalist compositions certainly allow viewers to drink in the scenery. And by occasionally inserting lone figures into the photographs, Pettigiani also gives the work a sense of scale. Though the work is different than his typical infrared photos, Pettigiani hopes that it will also stop and make people think.

“I would like to bring emotion to people in the same way that I do with my infrared artworks and highlight that nature is something amazing. Beauty can be found in everyday actions and places,” he shares. “If I didn’t explain the scientific reason of why the saline is pink, what would be your first thought? Is it a digital manipulation of the image or pure Mother Nature?”

The salt fields of southern France have a naturally vibrant pink water.

Dunaliella salina

Dunaliella salina

Photographer Paolo Pettigiani made the trip to capture the striking scenery.

Pink Algae in France

Salt Field in Southern France

Salt Fields in Camargue by Paolo Pettigiani

The pink color is due to Dunaliella salina, a micro-algae that lives in the water.

 Dunaliella salina

Road cutting across sea and salt field

Pink Algae

Dunaliella salina

The surreal colors almost seem like the infrared photography that Pettigiani is known for.

Pink Algae

Salt Crystal

Salt Fields in Camargue by Paolo Pettigiani

Instead, these incredible scenes are all natural.

Salt Crystals

Paolo Pettigiani: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Behance

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Paolo Pettigiani.

Related Articles:

Bolivian Salt Flat Creates Amazing Walking on Water Illusion

Sky and Landscape Merge in Breathtaking Photos of Salar de Uyuni Salt Flat

Infrared Photography Transforms Central Park into Surreal Wonderland

Photographer Uses LEDs on Drones to “Draw” Light Paths on the World’s Largest Salt Flats

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. 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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