Known for capturing phenomena such as magnetism, sound waves, centripetal forces, iridescence and fire, Swiss photographer Fabian Oefner’s unique style blends the fields of art and science and aims to appeal to viewers on both a rational and emotional level.
Oefner is also a keen petrolhead, as can be seen in his latest Disintegrating and Hatch series currently on display at the M.A.D. Gallery in Geneva, Switzerland. Made through painstaking mixed media processes, the compilation depicts two stages of life — birth and death — through stunning images of model cars captured on high-end cameras. The exhibition is open until May 2014.
The three images from his Disintegrating series — an exploded view of 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé, iconic 1961 Jaguar E-Type and a 1967 Ferrari 330 P4 — were made by deconstructing scale models of the cars and photographing each component before reassembling the image in Photoshop to create the illusion of an exploding automobile.
“What you see in these images is a moment that never existed in real life,” Oefner explains. “What looks like a car falling apart is in fact a moment in time that has been created artificially by blending hundreds of individual images together. There is a unique pleasure about artificially building a moment…”
Oefner first sketched out the location of the individual pieces on paper before taking the model cars apart piece by piece, from the body shell right down to the minuscule screws. Each car contained over a thousand components. He then carefully placed each piece into position individually, aligning it with his initial sketch with the aid of fine needles and pieces of string.
After meticulously working out the angle of each shot and establishing the right lighting, he photographed the component. He ultimately took thousands of photographs, which he blended together in post-production to create one single image. With the wheels acting as a reference point, each individual part was masked in Photoshop, cut and then pasted into the final image.
“These are possibly the ‘slowest high-speed’ images ever captured,” says Oefner. “It took almost two months to create an image that looks as if it was captured in a fraction of a second. The whole disassembly in itself took more than a day for each car due to the complexity of the models.”
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