Harold Edgerson Crystal zhu

Basic Information

Harold Edgerton also known as Papa Flash (April 6, 1903 – January 4, 1990) . He was a professor of electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.He is largely credited with transforming the stroboscope from an obscure laboratory instrument into a common device. He also was deeply involved with the development of sonar and deep-sea photography, and his equipment was used by Jacques Cousteau in searches for shipwrecks and even the Loch Ness monster.

Style and time of photography

Edgerton's photographic work was mainly focused on high speed photography and capturing things as they're moving. He was known as "the man who made time stand still". His photos are very unique. Edgerton is a very well known scientist, professor, and photographer. Edgerton began his photography around 1937 and photographed all the way until he died in 1990

Special Photography Techniques

Every time you use the flash on your smartphone or camera, you should give silent praise to Harold Eugene Edgerton. In the era of vacuum tubes and radios the size of tables, Edgerton created a way to stop the world; a bullet passing through an apple; a footballer’s boot connecting with a ball; the crown-like splash created from a single drop of milk. He was the first man to harness electricity to freeze time to an instant.

cameras and lens he worked with

Edgerton synchronized his electronic stroboscope with a special high-speed motion-picture-camera so that with each flash, exactly one frame of film was exposed. The number of flashes per second determined the number of pictures taken.Motion pictures are normally exposed and projected at 24 frames per second, but when pictures are made at a higher rate and projected at normal speed, the apparent movement is slowed down. Edgerton designed high-speed motion-picture cameras that could expose as many as six thousand to fifteen thousand frames per second. When these films were projected at normal speed (24 frames per second), very high-speed events appeared – and could be studied – in extremely slow motion.

Bright Light

Edgerton’s flash could fire a burst of light that lasted only 10 microseconds – 1/100,000th of a second – and replaced the mercury gas with xenon, which allowed the flash tubes to be smaller. It meant Edgerton had a device that could freeze the fastest bullet or rapidly beating hummingbird wing. The basic design still lives on in the electronic flashes we use today.

Early Influences

Harold became interested in photography through his uncle, Ralph Edgerton, a studio photographer. Uncle Ralph taught Harold how to take, develop, and print pictures. Harold worked summers during high school at the Nebraska Power and Light Company. From sweeping floors to repairing downed lines, Edgerton liked his work because, he said, it was “a tremendous challenge [with] all kinds of things happening every day.”

Underwater Exploration: 1953 – 1986

In 1952, the National Geographic Society asked Edgerton to join them in underwater exploration, and Doc meet the leader of the expeditions, Jacques-Yves Cousteau who became a life-long friend. This meeting marked the beginning of Doc’s search for submerged ships, ancient cities, lost equipment, and little-known biological phenomena. Edgerton started building underwater flashes and cameras for Cousteau, but soon realized the murky ocean waters would require some kind of sound system to augment his cameras. He developed a penetration sonar-and echo sounder he called a “pinger” – that emitted sound waves to the ocean floor. Echoes returning from the pinger indicated how close the camera was to the bottom. Edgerton invented the “boomer” in 1961 – an acoustic device similar to the pinger – that could locate objects lying on and beneath the ocean floor and deliver seismic provides of them. He used the boomer to find an H-bomb off the coast of Spain, search for the ancient Greek city of Helice (submerged about 373 B.C.), and map various ocean trenches.In 1986, Edgerton and colleagues designed an elapsed-time photographic system that could take motion pictures of underwater events, using strobe lights for illumination.

What I like about him...

Edgerton’s iconic images would be difficult enough to create today, even with computers on hand to open and close the shutter and fire the flash. But Edgerton took his pictures in the days of analogue, recording them on a motion picture camera converted to shoot at previously impossible speeds, and lighting them with an electric flash he invented himself. He captured wonderful, captivating images that transcend the boundaries between science, art and entertainment...

Created By
Crystal Zhu

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