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Wes Fesler Kicking a Football
Wes Fesler Kicking a Football is one of Edgerton's earliest photographs, taken in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1934. Wesley Eugene Fesler was a sports superstar in the late 1920s, and an all-around college athlete. He was a consensus first-team All-American in 1928-29, and the following year he was voted the Most Valuable Player in the Big Ten conference. Since we see little of the athlete himself, his name stands for the precision, power, and speed of this placement kick. In this early experiment, Edgerton used a simple synchronizing method to capture the action. When Fesler kicked the ball, he completed a circuit between two wires affixed to the ball and its tee, firing the strobe light and activating the electronic shutter. The high-speed photographic exposure is so clear, we can see how deeply Fesler's boot sinks into the ball with the force of the kick, and the layer of dust dislodged from the top seam of the ball suspended in mid-air.
from Acton, A History of Photography at the University of Notre Dame: Twentieth Century (Notre Dame, 2019)