You could say two things about Los Angeles photographer Tim Tadder’s new body of work, Water Wigs. You could say they are commentaries on the conflicting forces of nature and technology on modern masculinity.
Or, you could say they’re photos of dudes getting shelled with water balloons so the water looks like their hair.
Your choice, really.
As Tadder says in a recent article over at Wired, (where you can also view more water-headed dudes) the photo series required plenty of technological knowhow coupled with expert timing and lots of trial and error:
I got tired of repeating the same thing all the time,” says Tadder, a successful commercial photographer who has become known for his edgy ads for companies such a Gatorade and Adidas. “I wanted to find a visual concept that I’d never seen before.”
The technical aspects of the wig photos are tricky. Capturing the difference between a balloon exploding in the right place and the wrong place comes down to just milliseconds. Even the minuscule amount of shutter delay on the Nikon D800 Tadder was using could interfere with capturing the peak action, so he decided to use a bulb exposure with the shutter left open.
To do this, however, he had to make his studio completely dark and freeze the action with a high-speed flash firing at one ten-thousandth of a second. Not surprisingly, it took a while to get things right.
“You can only throw a water balloon at [a model’s] head so many times,” he says.
There’s something about creative works focusing on men that often relies on a sense of absurdity (we’re thinking specifically of ManBabies and Men Throwing with the Other Hand). Maybe that means something.
Image: via Wired.