Infared photos reveal Dubai's green space


Dubai desert landscape It's not really hospitable to plant life. Sitting on the Arabian Peninsula, the soil is sandy and poor, the wind and heat extreme, and it rains only three inches a year.

But that did not stop Dubai from striving to become a "green paradise". Over the past three decades, his gardeners have persuaded fountain grass, date palms and ghat to settle in public parks, golf courses and other places, even turning the dead space under the trees. aerial passages of highways and clovers in beautiful carpet patterned irrigated with wastewater. Green space increased from 4,300 acres in 1999 to about 17,000 in 2014, when officials announced a plan to increase it to 30,000 acres by 2025.

This may be the ultimate symbol of Dubai's attempt to conquer and control nature – as evidenced by countless projects making headlines, since the construction of the Burj Khalifa, a 163-storey tower reinforced by an exoskeleton, at the Palm Jumeirah, an artificial island dredging 4.2 billion cubic feet of sand to build. "Life only exists in things built by man," says Paolo Pettigiani. "There is nothing natural about it – everything has been thought, built and moved by man, from buildings to palm trees."

Pettigiani captured it for three sweltering days last August. He photographed with a converted Nikon D750 to record the entire spectrum of colors in order to photograph the invisible infrared light, strongly reflected by chlorophyll in plants (technique that he also used in New York, Berlin and Venice) . It isolates it with the help of a filter, screwed in front of its lens from 24 to 120 mm, which blocks the wavelengths below 590 nanometers, letting in some visible light orange and red with infrared. In Photoshop, he tweaked the color, contrast and white balance to achieve the desired result.

The amount of greenery that they reveal is impressive, especially if we consider the less than ideal Dubai environment, but not as impressive as the huge concrete, glass and concrete structures. of metal that dominate it. Dubai is an oasis, certainly, but skyscrapers continue to grow more easily than trees.

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