Fabian Oefner explains that photography usually captures moments in time; but his “Disintegrating II” series is all about inventing a moment in time.
“What you see in these images, is a moment that never existed in real life,” says Oefner. “What looks like a car falling apart is in fact a moment in time that has been created artificially by blending over 2000 individual images together. There is a unique pleasure about artificially building a moment... Freezing a moment in time is stupefying.”
Fabian first sketched on paper where the individual pieces would go, before taking apart the model cars piece by piece, from the body shell right down to the minuscule screws. Each car contained over a thousand components.
“Freezing a moment in time is stupefying.”
Then, according to his initial sketch, he placed each piece individually 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, and took thousands of photographs to create each “Disintegrating II” image.
All these individual photos were then blended together in post-production to create one single image. With the wheels acting as a reference point, each part was masked in Photoshop, cut and then pasted into the final image.
“These are possibly the ‘slowest high-speed’ images ever captured,” says Fabian. “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. But that’s a bit of a boy thing. There’s an enjoyment in the analysis, discovering something by taking it apart, like peeling an onion.”
“These are possibly the ‘slowest high-speed’ images ever captured”
However, he adds: “The hardest part was actually setting up the camera, lens and light, because the biggest frustration is when you can't get any beautiful image out of it!”