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Dr. Harold Edgerton

Milkdrop Coronet, 1957

Dr. Harold Edgerton was born in Freemont, Nebraska on April 6, 1903.
He was raised in Aurora, Nebraska, then entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1926. He died in 1990.

Dr. Harold E. Edgerton, professor at MIT and inventor of the electronic flash, devoted his career to recording what the unaided eye cannot see. His photographs illustrate such moments as: a bullet seen the instant it explodes through an apple, a perfect coronet formed by a milk-drop splash, and a football dented by the contact of Wes Fesler's booted foot. These images have become classics of modern art and science.

Dr. Edgerton was the first to take high-speed color photographs and was a pioneer of multiflash and microsecond imagery, which he used to take detailed photographs of hummingbirds in motion, as well as the progression of athletes' movements. These wondrous images have shown us things we were never able to see before, in photographs that are as remarkable for their precision as for their beauty.

Known for:
His use of "speedlight" to stop motion on film. His images have appeal "not simply because they are uncanny revelations of the laws of nature but because they arouse profound philosophical speculations about art and reality."

Most Popular Images:
"Milkdrop Coronet"; "Wes Fesler Kicking a Football"

Did you know ... ?
• Harold Edgerton collaborated with Jacques-Yves Cousteau to experiment photographing some of the deepest seabeds in the world.
• In 1962, he appeared as a contestant on "I've Got A Secret", starring Garry Moore.
His secret was that he was going to fire a rifle on stage and capture the 22-caliber bullet on Polaroid film, using a bulky, tripod-mounted strobe flash apparatus triggered by a microphone.
• In 1986, Spencer Museum of Art hosted an exhibition of Edgerton and Leonardo da Vinci.
• Ansel Adams studied Edgerton's work to help him "get under the scaly epidermis of reality to reach the essences."

"Don't make me out to be an artist. I am an engineer. I am after the facts, only the facts."
"In many ways, unexpected results are what have most inspired my photography."

General Format:
Silver gelatin prints in 8" x 10" through 16" x 20" sizes. Color Dye Transfer in 11" x 14" through 16" x 20" sizes. "The Kick" is the only image available in 30" x 40".

How many photographs exist?
Each image exists in a numbered edition of 100 or less.

Prices vary from $3,000 - $12,500 depending on size and edition number.

How are the photographs printed and signed?
Dye Transfers and Silver gelatin prints are signed au verso in pencil.

A few vintage photographs are available. Vintage means that the print date is at or near the same time as the negative date.

Technical Information:
Edgerton's photographs were taken using "standard" cameras with electronic flash exposures ranging from 1/50,000 to 1/1,000,000 of a second.

Portfolio of Ten Dye Transfer Photographs, edition of 150.

Books - In Print:
Stopping Time -
paperback, Sold Out

Selected images are for sale by A Gallery for Fine Photography.

Price History:
1976: $100
1986: $1,000 - $2,000
1990: $2,000 - $5,000
2000: $3,000 - $12,000

View Harold Edgerton's Photographs

Wes Fesler Kicking a Football, 1934

Authenticity is guaranteed. Prices and availability are subject to change without prior notice.



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