DPP Home Profiles Jose Manuel Vidaurre: Making A Splash!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Jose Manuel Vidaurre: Making A Splash!

In mastering the art of stopping liquids in motion, advertising photographer Jose Manuel Vidaurre fills a unique niche

This Article Features Photo Zoom

A Coca-Cola bottle explodes, soda splattering all around. Two glasses collide with the beer inside, each spilling into the other for a lively, frothy toast. Milk pours into a bowl full of cereal, with the splash thrusting the cereal up and out of the bowl.

No matter the type, the smooth and effortless curves of liquid make it an alluring and compelling subject to photograph. Capturing moments made of milliseconds to create images of a substance whose form changes randomly upon striking an object is on what commercial advertising photographer Jose Manuel Vidaurre has built his career.

His highly stylized splash images have appeared in global advertising campaigns for big-name companies like Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and Anheuser-Busch. Vidaurre’s work has earned him a slew of accolades and solidified his reputation as a master of this specialized technique. His interest in high-speed still photography was there from the moment he boldly decided to terminate his university studies in engineering and become a photographer.

“High-speed, stop-motion photography allows you to see a world that, even though it’s real, is hidden to the human eye,” Vidaurre explains. “The beauty of most of these moments lasts milliseconds, sometimes nanoseconds. To capture that moment that’s hidden to the human eye, and reveal its freshness and beauty—it’s a work I love. The challenge is to get the right moment. It’s never an easy task; you have to really like it, otherwise it becomes frustrating.”

Capturing that moment again and again and again so that, to his clients, one shot is indistinguishable from the next, also has helped catapult Vidaurre to the top of his field. While the physical attributes of liquid make duplicating a shot almost impossible, he has refined his technique to such a degree that he’s able to capture near-identical variations of the original image concept because he’s so intimately familiar with the subject matter.

The characteristics of liquids that make them so visually engaging also make them difficult to control. The relative position of the light to the splashing liquid during exposure is always changing.


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