Using 19th century proto-motion picture technology, Italian artist Manuel Cafini captures the beautiful abstraction of acrobatic bodies moving in space.

Some of the earliest photographic technology explored bodies in motion: those of humans, animals, and objects. One of these technologies, known as chronophotography, involved capturing the movement of bodies or objects in several frames of a photographic print. The individual print could be arranged like animation cells, as in a zoetrope, or layered in a single frame to show a sort of ethereal movement. Like wet plate photographer Shane Balkowitsch, Italian artist and photographer Manuel Cafini became enamored with this technology from the Victorian Era and decided to update it for the digital age, dubbing his process ChronoPhotography+.

“The evolution (the ‘+’ in the title of the project) from this antique technique is the figure of the athlete or dancer, well-defined and clear at the end of the timing sequence,” Cafini tells Creators. “No one had given importance to this until now.”

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