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Beautiful Masterpieces of High-Speed Water Photography


water photography vladimir nefedov
All images: © Vladimir Nefedov, courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2009
Since the iconic images of a moving galloping race horse were revealed in 1887 by English photographer Eadweard Muybridge, high-speed photography has come on in leaps and bounds. Multiple cameras are no longer needed to capture motion, just one, usually hideously expensive, camera is required (and some fancy equipment).
The Needle
the needle
© Vladimir Nefedov, courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2009

High-speed photography allows us to view things that ordinarily move too quickly for us register as a single image. Everyday events such as a drop of water falling into a bowl are suddenly transformed into liquid sculpture. Beauty and art replace the mundane.
The Girl
the girl
© Vladimir Nefedov, courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2009
Those who specialise in high-speed photography are masters of patience. Trying to capture the perfect shot takes some setting up, and although there are various ways to catch the images, seemingly frozen in time, many photographers have their own personal technique, which they guard closely. The most common technique is to use high-speed flashes with quick shutter times. The images are often then polished up in Photoshop, or some digital imaging package, but only the background and shadows are manipulated, the actual fluid shape is left untouched.
Watermetery
watermetery
© Vladimir Nefedov, courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2009
Water is often used in high-speed photography, as are other fluids, which are capable of producing infinite organic shapes, depending on how the photographer has set up the shot. Some photographers use specific equipment such as pipettes and drip feeders; others taint the fluid with color, resulting in sometimes strong and impressive images like these by Sony World Photography Awards (SWPA) 2008 finalist, Vladimir Nefedov.
The Crown
the crown
© Vladimir Nefedov, courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2009
Vladimir is a recognized authority in the field of high-speed photography and once managed the professional photographic studio, Prozess in his native Russia. He says on his website (in Russian, so roughly translated):
“There is not yet a technique that could embody what occurs inside of us, and science has not thought up how to photograph dreams or happiness. Art of a photo is an attempt of visualization [of these things], made possible by manipulation of the images, given to us in the objective world and in sensations, they are then fixed using a camera, producing something imperceptible and unique…”
Ash Tray
ash tray
© Vladimir Nefedov, courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2009
The Bell
the bell
© Vladimir Nefedov, courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2009
The Lira
the lira
© Vladimir Nefedov, courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2009
Red in White
red in white
© Vladimir Nefedov, courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2009
Crystal Vase
crystal vase
© Vladimir Nefedov, courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2009
Water Joke
water joke
© Vladimir Nefedov, courtesy of Sony World Photography Awards 2009


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