Striking infrared photos make Central Park look like a futuristic dreamscape

Every year, millions of visitors flock to New York’s Central Park to enjoy an oasis of greenery in the middle of the city. An Italian photographer is looking at the park from a different perspective.

Infrared NYC,” a photo series by 24-year-old Paolo Pettigiani, uses aerochrome infrared film to show Central Park and its surroundings in vibrant, unexpected colours. Trees and grass become bubble-gum pink, while the city’s skyscrapers appear in shades of turquoise.

The photo series, which Pettigiani released this month, is the second infrared project he has undertaken — his first showcased winter landscapes in his hometown of Aviglinana, Italy.

Pettigiani says his goal for the new project is to “highlight the majesty and the contrast of nature” in New York City. See his photos below.

To achieve the striking colours in his work, Pettigiani uses film that's sensitive to infrared radiation (the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum with longer wavelengths than visible light).

Paolo Pettigiani

He uses a filter to block out most of the visual light spectrum.

Paolo Pettigiani

The chlorophyll in leaves and foliage causes them to reflect near-infrared radiation -- the part of the spectrum just beyond what we can see.

Paolo Pettigiani

That's why they appear so uniformly bright.

Paolo Pettigiani

The resulting images take on a magical quality that makes New York City look like a futuristic dreamscape.

Paolo Pettigiani

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