When you discover Debora Lombardi's photos of flowers and plants, you are definitely not the only one thinking these must come from another world. The Italian designer harnesses the creative potential of ultraviolet light to unveil an entire spectrum of colors that would be otherwise invisible to the human eye.
Debora Lombardi Reveals a Spectrum of Colors Through UV Photography
If you've ever seen ultraviolet photography before, you know it's something extraordinary. Debora Lombardi takes photos using a relatively unknown process, called ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence. This is accomplished by using high-intensity UV lights to illuminate the flowers, giving them an otherworldly look.
Ultraviolet (UV) photography is a very unique form of photography. UV photos are often used for scientific or medical purposes, but many artists also dabble in UV photography since it requires recording only images from the UV spectrum; this part of the spectrum is invisible to human eyes since humans can only see color and light on a certain spectrum, dubbed 'visible light'.
"I began experimenting with this method in the dark of my studio during the lockdown of March 2020, making it my main outlet during that equally dark time," Lombardi tells World Photography Organization, a finalist in this year’s competition. "My research then continued into 2021, when I made refinements and modifications, and this portion of my story is a sample."
What We Can't See
One particularly cool thing about ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence is that when exposed to sunlight, flowers, plants, and leaves are actually all fluorescing. Normally, we humans can't see it because of the intensity of reflected visible light but through Debora Lombardi's work, saturated purple and blue tones and a neon-like glow turn already stunning blooms into magical, new specimens.
The Italian-based designer and photographer scatters radiation on a single flower, revealing an entire color spectrum invisible to the human eye. Lombardi showcases the beauty of flowers in a new way in her work, and the results are simply stunning. Some of her work is currently on display at Somerset House in London but you can also discover more of her UV photography on Instagram.
Photography by @bibadesign_uvivf.