Angela Di Finizio
January 8, 2021
Riccardo Bandiera
January 9, 2021

Raffaele Canepa

(Genova, 1974)
I was introduced to analogue photography as a kid by my father and with ups and downs, I've fiddled with cameras since the young age. In 1993 I moved from Genova to Milano and for almost 20 years I have worked as a producer and directorfor TV shows,documentaries and ADV; throughout this whole time, I regarded to photography as a sort of visual sketchbook. Around 10 years ago I stepped into professional photography as a sport and landscape photographer on golf courses, and on those very locations I started exploring the reign of invisible light. In the following years I have experimented with IR and architecture, and how IR light responds to different materials. Between 2015 and 2018 I have produced two extensive series on Milan’s and Rome’s iconic buildings. In 2017 I started travelling the world and experimenting IR photography with different atmospheric and light conditions in the Middle East, South America, Central and Eastern Asia. I have produced a consistent body of work mainly focused on Architecture and Minimal Landscape. I have recently started working on IR Portraits and artificial light sources applied to Infrared Photography.
At present day, Infrared Photography is at the heart of my work.

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others"
(Jonathan Swift)

project description

Invisible light of the city


“Invisible light of the city” is a long term project that set off in 2015, after few years of experimentation and field trial, outside the most common context of infrared natural landscapes. IR Photography led me to “see” light in a different way, as the intensity with which different materials absorb and reflect infrared radiation, rather than the grayscale rendition of some specific color. This concept, together with the superior crispness of detail rendition specific to infrared light, well applies to architecture photography and it’s at the origin of the project which portrays the most iconic buildings and landmarks around the world. The rendition of luminosity in infrared photography gives rise to a surreal and time-suspended atmosphere – further enhanced by the absolute lack of human presence - that makes structures and buildings stand out. With DIY modified digital cameras I explore beyond the limits of human vision, in that part of the light spectrum where color becomes a meaningless notion, and luminosity is way different from what we normally perceive. In fact, what I show in my pictures is technically invisible to the naked eye.

Il Duomo (Milano), 2016 © Raffaele Canepa
Arco della Pace (Milano), 2016 © Raffaele Canepa
Lines (Milano), 2018 © Raffaele Canepa
Colosseo (Roma), 2018 © Raffaele Canepa
EUR (Roma), 2018 © Raffaele Canepa
Ponte Sisto (Roma), 2019 © Raffaele Canepa
San Marco (Venezia), 2019 © Raffaele Canepa
San Giorgio (Venezia), 2019 © Raffaele Canepa
The Globe Nur Sultan (Kazakhstan), 2019 © Raffaele Canepa
The Pyramid Nur Sultan (Kazakhstan), 2019 © Raffaele Canepa
The Eye Nur Sultan (Kazakhstan), 2019 © Raffaele Canepa
The Oculus (NYC), 2019 © Raffaele Canepa
Downtown (NYC), 2019 © Raffaele Canepa
Lady Liberty (NYC), 2019 © Raffaele Canepa
Curves (NYC), 2019 © Raffaele Canepa
project presentation

This is the concept

"The invisible Light of the City is a project that set off in 2015 and pictures the most iconic buildings and landmarks around the world using infrared modified cameras. Beside the most recognizable traits of infrared photography, such as dark skies and bright vegetation - which in this instance works as a contour element - one fundamental aspect for the project is the impressive crispness of detail rendition. In the realm of infrared light where color becomes a meaningless notion and brightness is way off from what we normally perceive, different filters allow to get the most out of the various materials of the building that reflect and absorb IR radiation in a different way from how we see visible light. Different latitudes, time of the year and weather conditions require different technical approaches and a lot of experimentation and research. Infrared light gives rise to a surreal mood which is further enhanced by the total lack of human presence; the buildings stand out in a time suspended atmosphere. What has fascinated me about infrared photography since the very beginning is the fact that what my pictures show is technically invisible to the naked eye."