What is an authentic expression? this is a question almost every portrait photographer asks himself time and time again. Photographer Patrick Hall and the fstoppers website team decided to look at this interesting question for a very unusual perspective by literally tazing a 100 volunteers and shooting their facial expressions in slow motion video and stills.
This photography project might sound a bit sadistic, and maybe it is, but it also has some interesting psychological aspects and certainly an interesting technical aspects as well. Besides getting a 100 people to sign a legal form which gave Hall the permission to taze them, he needed to figure out where to shoot, and what equipment to use.
Eventually after a lot of trial and error he decided to use a Nikon D810 and a 70-200mm lens as well as 2 Sony Fs700 for the slow motion footage (240fps). 3 strong Profoto flashes were needed to freeze the action shooting at f/16, ISO 32 and 1/250 second shutter at maximum flash power (1000 watt). Catching the right facial expression at the right time was even harder and convincing people to try again when you miss is a completely different story.
The behind the scenes version of the video – how do you taze & shoot a 100 people
The full version of the video including the expressions of the people who taze the volunteers
You can watch the still images shot on this project and learn more on how it was done on the fstoppers website.