Strobe Light Photography Perfecter

Jacques Cousteau Collaborator

Noted MIT faculty member

Creative Lecturer (Favorite Professor)

Contributions to Marine Archeology results in discovery of Civil War Monitor

These are just a few of the descriptions that fit “Doc” Harold Edgerton.  This distinguished scientist grew up in Aurora, Nebraska.  While eventually he would relocate to Massachusetts, he did not forget his hometown and continued to visit.  This excerpt from the website that MIT Edgerton site gives you a bit of a glimpse of who Doc Edgerton  was.

With his ever-present sense of humor Doc recounted, at a graduation address to Aurora NE High School students in 1987, that “Upon graduation at Nebraska I applied to MIT for graduate study. During the summer, I asked an Aurora student who had been to Harvard if he knew anything about MIT. He looked me in the eye and said, ‘MIT only takes smart students.’ From then on, I have disregarded the opinions of Harvard students.”

I first heard of Doc Edgerton  several years after his death when the Edgerton Explorit Center opened in Aurora, Nebraska.  I was looking for a place to have an annual spring field trip with my 5th graders.  Once we visited, and I saw all of his photographs, I became a big fan of his work.  Walking through the Strobe gallery is a necessary part any time we visit the Aurora Museum.

Because I obviously do not own the rights to any photographs, I feel I should limit posting them.  But I am including my favorite photo just to give you a glimpse of Edgerton’s work.  Did you know that right before a football is kicked, an indention is visible?  “Wes Fesler Kicking a Football” from 1934 illustrates this in vivid detail.  You can find the below image at A Gallery for Fine Photography.  You may just want to order one of his photographs from the gallery for your art collection!

Here is another site where you can see his photographs for yourself.  You will be amazed and astounded at the photographs that resulted because of his work with strobe light photography.  Perhaps you have even seen his pictures before and simply not recognized that Edgerton was the one behind the images.

Although probably most of us never met “Doc” Edgerton, we can still watch him in action.  Here are a few great clips that are worth watching!

To learn even more about this inventive Nebraska native and his lifetime of science contributions, please visit the following sites:

Edgerton Digital Collection (from MIT)

Guide to Edgerton’s Research Collections (Found on File at MIT)

Edgerton’s Biography as Relevant to Photographers

See the science discoveries that are still taking place at the Edgerton Center in Massachusetts.

After learning more, possibly you will want to purchase a copy of his book: Stopping Time.  I know the title is definitely on my book wishlist now!

Image taken from Amazon.








Author: neodyssey