It's amazing what long exposure photography can achieve when a camera lens is pointed at a twirling professional dancer.
Portrait photographer Bill Wadman recently embarked on an experimental project, capturing dizzying snapshots of dancers in motion. Using a slow shutter speed, he was able to document several moments of sweeping pliés and dramatic pirouettes, all in the confines of one frame.
The series, titled "Motion," was in part inspired by sports photographer Marvin Newman. "I had attended a lecture [by Newman] where he showed a slow shutter speed image he had taken of a boxer with his saturated glove smearing across the frame as he punched his opponent," Wadman explained in an email to The Huffington Post. "I loved how dynamic it felt, so I started experimenting with making portraits using long exposure photography."
Wadman initially planned to photograph a broader spectrum of subjects who "move as part of their job," including athletes, construction workers, and cooks. But after one photo shoot with a professional dancer, Wadman fell in love with the long exposure results, prompting him to continue his project with nine other dancers.
Wadman's photographs possess a painterly quality, as the ethereal bodies of the dancers produce a saturated blur over time. Yet precise, highly defined features emerge from the flurry of movement in the photographs, revealing muscular appendages and impossible angles. Scroll through a selection of Wadman's images below, and let us know your thoughts on the "Motion" project in the comments.