What Happens When Mixing A Drill, Some Paint And High Speed Photography
The Black Hole series by Swiss Photographer Fabian Oefner is nothing but black.
Mixing in colors, a fast spinning drill and no less than 6 modified strobes, Fabian gives color splashes a new twist (pun intended).
The strobes used in this shoot are not your ordinary strobes, they are modified speedlights that can be dialed down till 1/40,000 of a second which is what Fabian needed to freeze the fast splashing color.
As far as hitting the precise moment when the color flies, Fabian explains his use of a sound sensor: "To capture the very moment, where the paint starts to fly off the rod, I connected a microphone to the drill, so whenever it is turned on, the noise of switching it on was sent to the microphone and from there via an electronic circuit to the flashes. The entire setup was placed in a darkened room and I left the shutter of the camera open for several seconds, but only the moment when the flashes lighted up, got caught on the sensor of the camera, making these amazing pieces of art visible"
If you were wondering how messy the setup gets, the answer is very.
Here is a short movie showing the sequence of work to take each picture (with the lights remaining on for the sake of video)
While Fabian uses nylon sheets to protect his gear, it is far less than optimal and he told me that he might be selling a Jackson Pollock edition of his Nikon D800.
P.S. if you recognize the distinct style, it is because Fabian is obsessed with colors, and you may remember his Dancing Color series we featured a few months back.