Paolo Pettigiani is the proud creator of #infraland, has an incredible talent for photography, and loves to spend time in nature, hiking, climbing and snow boarding in the winter!
Let's Get to know Paolo
G’Day Paolo, thanks for chatting with us! Can you tell us a little about where you’re from?
My home town is Avigliana in the Piedmont region. Now I live in Torino but every weekend I escape to the mountains. I’m lucky because the Alpes are very close to Torino. Since I was a child, I love to spend time in the nature, do some hiking and climbing, and in winter I am also a snowboard instructor.
You’re the creator of #infraland, can you tell us a little bit more about what Infrared Photography is? It sounds exciting!
I aspire to highlight the beauty that surrounds us and that is too often forgotten, through graphic and visual exploration. With Infraland, a photographic-artistic-social project, I want to put nature in the foreground, by emphasizing its hidden colors, which cannot be seen by the human eye.
Infrared photography is a look into the invisible world. The human eye can see wavelengths from about 400nm-750nm (the classic rainbow); infrared is the light beyond 750nm. Infrared photography can be done with either infrared film or a digital camera, and typically involves near infrared light from 590nm to 1200nm range. The leaves contain pigments such as chlorophyll, which absorb the main part of the blue and the red range of the visible light but strongly reflect the green and the infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye. By removing the Infrared cut filter that is over the sensor and replacing it with an Infrared pass filter, the camera becomes fully sensitive to infrared light giving the possibility to produce some very distinct effects with surreal color landscapes or high contrast black and white photographs.
Why did you start taking infrared pictures?
For me photography has always been a great passion and I started taking my first photographs during a trip with my family in Argentina. I was 11 years old and I used an old analogic camera. Growing up, after a degree in "Design and Visual Communication" at Politecnico in Turin, I started doing some research to visually combine photography and graphic design into a unique image with a particular focus on colors.
I started exploring new techniques and new themes to see the unseen and I found the way to express my personal vision of the world using infrared photography: a fusion of science and creativity, playing with colors, shapes and contrasts in order to create a visual mood to get the viewer lost into a new and unseen world that question reality as we see it.
What are your top 3 achievements you're most proud of as a photographer?
That’s an interesting question! I think the first and most important achievement is to be recognized and known as a photographer for my own style and vision. The second, the artist talks and solo exhibition that I’ve done in 2016 for the grand opening of the new LUMAS Gallery in Soho, New York. The third, it's the big dream I've had since I started studying into the creative world: see my images as the official splash screen of Adobe Lightroom Classic 2021!
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration from nature, architecture, graphic, film and everything new I see during my travels and my ordinary life. I think that every kind of suggestion can be useful to improve their own creative ideas. Talking about digital tools and platforms, I also find inspiration for my projects on Behance and Instagram, but I really love to read magazines and art books where I use to find different kind of tips, information and visual styles.
How do you pick your photography locations?
I find beautiful locations by looking through magazines and searching on the web. I then scout the location using Google Maps views. Before shooting, I also search for inspiration and more information on the specific location by looking through the location tag on Instagram.
We know you love to explore! Where is your favorite place to skateboard and find freedom?
When I was 13 I started skateboarding on the streets of my small village with some friends. Couple of years later, a skatepark was built very close to my small village and I continued skateboarding, together with snowboarding. Skateboarding really helps me to improve my snowboard skills in the winter time. Now I’m also a snowboard instructor and my favorite place to find freedom is for sure the mountains!
With my skateboard, I also love to ride along lakes and parks. During my stay in NYC, I loved to ride along the Hudson River and Central Park. I shot my iconic images of Infrared NYC riding a small Penny skateboard along Central Park during sunny days! I had very good memories riding my Penny :)
What made you pick the Penny Blackout 32”?
I usually use my Penny during holidays and road trips, I need a versatile skateboard to ride on different ground and different situations. I really love the shape of Penny Blackout 32” and the agility of a traditional skateboard with the plus of a smooth ride feeling due to the big and fast wheels. In many of my photographic trips I have a limited time to visit cities or locations, so I also use my Penny to move faster from place to place as it helps to save a lot of time in commuting!
Any tips for someone who wants to get into Photography for a living?
Shoot, shoot and shoot! First of all you can't become a photographer without shooting. Don’t care about your gear or where you live. You just need to be passionate and interested in the outside world, so don’t be shy! Photography can also help you to better understand who you are and what are you interested in. Share your works, ask for feedback and if you put passion into your images, you’ll get the results and positive feedback.
To keep up with Paolo’s photography and adventures, be sure to follow him on Instagram!