Lonely Planet Writer

See Italy’s Dolomites captured in dreamy infrared

Travel photography has the power to showcase the unique beauty and distinctive characteristics of locations all over the world, with creative individuals using different techniques and technology to portray countries and cities in new and exciting ways. One such example is a new series of images that capture the Dolomites in Italy in infrared, transforming the land and water into a hazy, pink and blue-hued dreamscape.

Lago di Braies in Italy.
Lago di Braies in Italy captured in infrared. Image by Paolo Pettigiani

Taken by Italian photographer Paolo Pettigiani, the series shows beautiful scenes such as the rippling waters of Lake Atorno, a boathouse at Lago di Braies and the famous rocky peaks of Tre Cime di Lavaredo towering over a rosy outcrop of trees.

Dolomites in infrared
The process allowed the photographer to capture the Dolomites in an interested and unique way. Image by Paolo Pettigiani

Throughout the collection, elements that have chlorophyll such as trees, grass and leaves become richly coloured in the process, due in part to the equipment being able to capture the high concentration of infrared light normally invisible to the naked eye. Using a camera with full-spectrum capabilities, Paolo was able to block the visible light, capturing details that usually go unseen.

Lago di Braies in Italy.
Lago di Braies in Italy. Image by Paolo Pettigiani

“In 2014 I first saw the photographs of Richard Mosse, famous for this infrared reportage in Congo, and I fell in love with this photographic technique that created in me a desire to experiment with new kind of photography. In addition, during my academic studies in Design and Visual Communication at the Polytechnic University of Turin, I had the idea to merge graphic design and photography in a single image, playing with colours, shapes and contrasts in order to distort reality,” Paolo told Lonely Planet Travel News.

The process captures light that is otherwise invisible to the naked eye. Image by Paolo Pettigiani

Paolo decided to choose the Dolomites as a location for the project due to the dynamic collection of vegetation, water, sky and mountains on offer that allowed him to create contrast in the photographs. “With these surreal shots, I want to create amazement and strong emotions to the viewer, making them see famous places, which perhaps he has already seen, under a new and unexpected point of view. To make visible something invisible,” Paolo said.

More of Paolo’s work is available on his Instagram account as well as on his official website.