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The Elusive Liquid Sculptures in Jack Long’s Photography

Inside every photograph lies the assumption of continuity. We admit that the simple objects of our attention may change with time, but when only a second has passed, we shrug off any variations as imperceptible. Upon entering the photographic world of Jack Long, however, we learn that his subjects already cease to exist after 1/10,000th of a second.

Jack Long is an American photographer skilled in the art of high-speed photography for a very specific reason – he creates liquid sculptures from flowing liquid. By specializing in the art of fluid suspension, Jack sculpts the steady forms from moving liquid while still managing to introducing texture and color. With special devices, he designs exotic flowers with intricate detail including textured pots, colored contours, and successive volume variations that elegantly differentiate the stems, petals and leaves.

Besides the addition of pedestals and backdrops, Jack’s photographs are not manipulated or digitally altered – they are created purely from dancing water that is choreographed by the photographer himself. On top of the painstaking efforts to design the form, color and character of his creations, Jack carefully modulates the lighting and timing to capture the exact moment that the liquid sculpture blooms.

While sometimes compared to the growing trend of splash photography, Jack’s images actually stand in a category of their own. Instead of photographing the after effect of splashing drops of paint, he captures what happens during the elusive moment between a colorful eruption and a puddle of paint defeated by gravity.

All photographs copyright of Jack Long. Images used here with permission.

Keara Wright

Aspiring creative author and astrophysicist, with degrees in Physics, Mathematics, and Psychology.

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