Harold EdgertonWhat the Eye Can’t See

May 7 – July 31, 2016

Above: Harold Edgerton (American, 1903–1990), Bullet Through Apple (detail), 1964, dye transfer print, Gift of Lee Arnold and Robert L. Drapkin, © 2010 MIT. Courtesy of MIT Museum.

Harold Edgerton (American, 1907–1990) was a scientist who used photography to extend the capabilities of the human eye, and in the process created some of the most memorable photographs ever made. In 1931, he began experimenting with strobe flash technology, overcoming the restrictions of a normal camera’s fastest shutter speed and capturing phenomena formerly unseeable by the naked eye. The shape of a falling drop of liquid, a balloon bursting, or a bullet shot from a gun appear to stand still. Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, the photographs not only document the science of the instant, but offer visually compelling images that help us see and understand the world around us as we never had before.