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Harold Edgerton

The father of modern photography

Harold Edgerton

The father of modern photography

Harold Edgerton is one of the father of modern photography, born in 1903 in the USA, he became professor of electrical engineering at the MIT, he was also a prolific inventor and he spent many years of his life investigating photography, to use it to extend the capabilities of the human eye, revealing aspect of reality never seen before, his impact can still be seen in contemporary photographers.

 

Harold Edgerton is one of the father of modern photography, born in 1903 in the USA, he became professor of electrical engineering at the MIT, he was also a prolific inventor and he spent many years of his life investigating photography, to use it to extend the capabilities of the human eye, revealing aspect of reality never seen before, his impact can still be seen in contemporary photographers.

After graduating college he already started working on photography, combining a camera with a stroboscope; this device, which was then used as the base for the modern electric flash, allowed him to record on film a series of stopped-action sequential images. As stated by Edgerton himself, this invention allowed “time itself to be chopped up into small bits and frozen so that it suits our needs and wishes”.

 

After graduating college he already started working on photography, combining a camera with a stroboscope; this device, which was then used as the base for the modern electric flash, allowed him to record on film a series of stopped-action sequential images. As stated by Edgerton himself, this invention allowed “time itself to be chopped up into small bits and frozen so that it suits our needs and wishes”.

Even if his work is seen as art by many, he didn’t consider himself an artist, “I am an engineer. I am after the facts. Only the facts”, but is the beauty of these facts that make these pictures art. The union between art and science, always present in his works, is what makes his work relevant and innovative, a celebration of the armony of nature and the symmetry of everyday phenomena.

Even if his work is seen as art by many, he didn’t consider himself an artist, “I am an engineer. I am after the facts. Only the facts”, but is the beauty of these facts that make these pictures art.The union between art and science, always present in his works, is what makes his work relevant and innovative, a celebration of the armony of nature and the symmetry of everyday phenomena.