SOURCE: Vision Research Inc.

July 13, 2007 16:01 ET

How Did He Do That? Artist David Michalek Uses Ultra High-Speed Camera to Capture the Beauty of Dance Motion

Vision Research Phantom® HD Brings the Advantages of High-Speed Digital Photography to the World at Lincoln Center

WAYNE, NJ--(Marketwire - July 13, 2007) - The intricate movements of the human body are infinite, and with the use of the Vision Research Phantom® HD camera, photographer David Michalek was able to immortalize the movements of 43 professional dancers capturing their unique styles of dance at an astonishing 1,000 frames per second.

The world premiere of Michalek's project, titled "Slow Dancing," was held last night at the Lincoln Center Festival in New York City in which 50-foot-tall, hyper-slow-motion video portraits were projected on the facade of the New York State Theater.

For the project, Michalek recorded each dancer for five seconds, while they performed their own unique forms of dance; however, because they were shot at 1,000 frames per second using the Phantom HD high-speed camera, Michalek was able to essentially turn the five-second routines into performances lasting many minutes. For each five-second routine, the Phantom HD recorded an astounding 20 gigabytes of data. By capturing each dancer's movements at such a high-speed frame rate and in full high-definition (HD) resolution, Michalek gives viewers the ability to experience and analyze the movements of the human body in a format never before seen.

"We evaluated several digital high-speed cameras, but chose the Phantom HD for its superior image quality, high-definition resolution, and speed," said David Michalek. "Considering we were working with a prototype camera, we had very few camera problems. And, I think Vision Research paid a lot of attention to our project in order to get feedback for product improvement."

Comprising an ever-changing trio of dancers projected onto the 50-foot-tall screens, "Slow Dancing" begins with what at first appears to be a series of "still" photographs and then unfolds gesture by barely-perceptible gesture, into an elaborate choreography, with the viewer allowed to choose to focus on one dancer's complete "performance" or observe the interplay between the three.

The Phantom HD high-speed camera boasts a 2,048 x 2,048 high-performance complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) imaging sensor, and introduces the advantages of high-speed digital imaging to the world of 2K and HD media production. Furthermore, the Phantom HD offers users 35mm depth-of-field either at either HD or 2K resolution. The flexibility and control that the camera offers is limitless and applications abound for the Phantom HD, including broadcasts of rapidly moving sports events, the production of commercials, music videos or capturing documentaries, and even the monitoring a rocket launch.

Key Features of the Phantom HD include:

--  HD (1920 x 1080) and 2K (2048 x 1536) resolution using a PL-mount lens
--  Up to 1,000 frames-per-second (fps) frame rate at 1920x1080
    resolution, even higher speeds at reduced resolution
--  Adjust frame rate in one fps increments
--  Shutter speeds as fast as two microseconds (1/500,000 second)
--  14-bit sensor depth (42-bit color)
--  ISO 600
--  35mm depth-of-field
--  Circular buffer recording/Run-Stop
    
The subjects chosen for "Slow Dancing" are some of today's foremost modern and classical dancers and choreographers, as well as recognized master interpreters of a range of traditional and contemporary dance forms including ballet, modern dance, and tap. The dancers represent a diversity of body types, sizes, training, styles, traditions, ages, and ethnicities. They hail from many places, including the United States, Russia, Africa, Bali, China, Turkey, Brazil, India, Taiwan, and New Zealand. The dance traditions and contemporary styles represented are as diverse as Javanese court dance, krumping, voguing, Afro-Brazilian Capoeira, Hip-Hop, Indian Kuchipuri, Beijing Opera, and flamenco.

This awe-inspiring digital installation will run nightly during the Lincoln Center Festival at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. through July 29th.

For more information about "Slow Dancing," visit www.lincolncenter.org/load_screen.asp?screen=slow_dancing_main, or www.slowdancingfilms.com

For more information about the Phantom HD high-speed camera from Vision Research, visit www.visionresearch.com/index.cfm?sector=htm/files&page=camera_HD_new

About Vision Research Inc.

Vision Research Inc. designs and manufactures high-speed digital imaging systems used in domains including defense, automotive, engineering, scientific and medical research, industrial and commercial, sports and entertainment, and digital broadcast and cinematography.

The Wayne, N.J.-based company prides itself on the sensitivity, high-resolution and quality of images produced by its systems, robust yet easy-to-use software interfaces, and reliability and versatility of its camera family -- that continues to be the benchmark for all other high-speed digital camera manufacturers.

Vision Research cameras add a new dimension to the sense of sight, allowing the user to see details of an event when it's too fast to see, and too important not to™. More information on Vision Research can be found at www.visionresearch.com.

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