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Infrared Photography Artist Feature: Paolo Pettigiani

My hometown of Avigliana, Italy, is where I experimented with my first infrared images on Avigliana’s lake. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Design and Visual Communication from the Polytechnic University of Turin and received a master’s in Photography at IED. I now live in Torino, and I’m the co-founder and art director of No Panic – a creative agency focused on strategic brand narrative. I spent my childhood walking, hiking, and climbing with friends and my parents in the Alps of northern Italy. Every weekend, I still escape from the city to the mountains. I am also a snowboard instructor in the winter.

I find inspiration from nature, architecture, graphic design, film, and everything new I encounter in my daily life. I think every kind of suggestion can be useful to improve my creative ideas. I also find inspiration for my projects on digital platforms like Behance and Instagram. Still, I love to read magazines and art books to find different tips, information, and visual styles.

The beauty of photography is that it’s an extension of the human eye, allowing you to see what’s beyond your sight, even the invisible. This is especially true of infrared photography, which captures wavelengths of light invisible to the naked eye and shows you an otherwise inaccessible world.

I started taking photos for fun during a family trip to Argentina. I was ten years old, and I used an old analog camera. Photography became a passion and later, during university, started to become a job as well.

During my undergraduate studies, I felt the need to combine photography and graphic design into a visually unique image. This allowed me to express my vision of the world with a specific focus on colors, shapes, and nature in an aesthetically pleasing image. I really think that colors represent my academic soul, and nature represents my love for outdoor sports and nature. 

Initially, this duplicity led me to focus a lot on shapes and colors, creating minimalist architectural projects.

Eventually, I started to explore the topic of seeing the unseen, driven by a desire to explore familiar places, expanding the limits of perception through a graphic and visual exploration of the territory. I found my trademark style using infrared photography: a fusion of science and creativity that captures the electromagnetic radiation of light whose wavelengths are not visible to the human eye.

Infraland is an ongoing project that transforms ordinary places into surreal landscapes unbound by human perception, renewing the spectators’ idea of the world in order to question reality as we see it. An invitation to further explore knowledge and human relationships with new enthusiasm and new eyes.

After university, I move to live in NYC for a couple of months. That’s where I made my first artistic infrared project.

My favorite filter is by far the Kolari 590nm! I love how the colors come out of the image using this filter on a full-spectrum camera, and in addition, I find that it makes landscapes very sharp with an excellent depth of field. Another filter I like is the IR Chrome. The images this filter creates are really fast and fun to edit! I’m also testing the new Magnetic Clip-in Filters, which are fantastic!! No more problems with different lens diameters or step-up ring adapters. 

When I go traveling or out for a hike, I always bring the following in my backpack:

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