Swiss photographer Fabian Oefner painstakingly took 4,500 individual photos to construct just three incredible shots of exploding sports cars for his latest series, “Disintegration,” on view now at the Mechanical Art Devices Gallery in Geneva.
Oefner is known for combining art and science, having previously captured the slow-motion effects of sound waves, centripetal forces and iridescence.
“My idea for this series was to invent time,” Oefner wrote in an email to Business Insider, “In all the other series that I did so far, I was focusing on capturing time, holding on to moments which pass us by in the blink of an eye. With this series, I wanted to invent such a moment from scratch by creating an illusion of an exploding car, thus inventing, in fact, a moment in time.”
Oefner started with assembled scale models of a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé with gullwing doors from 1954, a Jaguar E-Type from 1961, and a Ferrari 330 P4 from 1967. The first thing he had to do was disassemble the hundreds of parts in each vehicle.
Then he sketched the way each piece would fly from the model cars, had an explosion actually occurred from within. Oefner photographed each car part individually, suspending pieces by hanging wires or propping them up on styrofoam blocks that he removed when he overlayed the photos in his computer.
“When I was deciding on what object would work best to show in mid explosion,” Oefner wrote, “I immediately thought of cars, because everybody recognises them. The viewer doesn’t ask himself the question, ‘What object is it?’ The discussion is rather about the state it is shown in.”
Check out the three finished photos below:
And this video shows how Oefner did it (Your speakers aren’t broken, there’s no sound):
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