Dr. Harold Eugene Edgerton (American, 1903–1990) was given the 1987 ICP Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement. Edgerton revolutionized photography in the 1930’s with his incorporation of strobe lights into the medium (an effect which essentially allowed split-second motion to be captured). What was once invisible to the human eye became visible, and for the first time in history cause and effect could be documented to the fullest extent. In sports, this meant the contortions of the human body through movement and the transferal of energy to a specific object (primarily at the moment of impact). So, as we watch live television broadcasts of sporting events, we should (re)consider what we are witnessing and what, indeed, is actually taking place.
Harold Edgerton, Driving the Golf Ball, 1935
Harold Edgerton, Charles Hare Serves, 1938
Harold Edgerton, Back Dive, 1954
Gjon Mili, Dr. Harold E. Edgerton taking stroboscopic picture of Joe Maniaci, ace running back of the Chicago Bears, kicking a football, ca. 1939