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Phantom

Photography

2012-05-17

In the 1st century AD as the Romans began to toy with different thicknesses and shapes of glass to create new and distorted views of the world they were paving the way for the birth of microscopy. Today the microscope is one of mankind’s most significant of inventions. There are few medical advances of the last 250 years that do not owe something to the microscope. It has created a portal to a hidden world, where the smallest organisms appear as large as elephants and the very cells that we are made of can be split in two.

There is also another world that we rarely see. One that captures the flex of a cricket bat as a ball strikes it at 90 mph and where the rotations of a bullet in flight are as graceful as a feather falling to the floor. This is the world of the Phantom Camera. Able to capture anything at up to 1000 frames a second the Phantom takes the everyday and creates something truly mesmerising. It allows us to view things in a completely new way.

As dunhill look to reconsider the aesthetic language of master tailoring, searching for an angle to celebrate this artisan skill, the contemporary filter of the Phantom was able to transform the raw materials of the tailor into articles of beauty, as elegant as a finished garment.

Whilst a collection of tailor’s tools falling to the ground – in real time has no emotive quality or beauty. even in slow motion it can still be a mundane occurrence – in the 35mm depth of frame of the Phantom, recording at 1000 frames a second, it becomes a most compelling moving image. The numerous spins of a button as it falls, the subsequent flips and bounces that the naked eye could never hope to pick up – these are the things that exist only in the world of the Phantom.

Just as the microscope is the gateway to the minute, the phantom is the key to a world that we are part of and yet never see. This film captures the most basic components of an artisan craft and celebrates the power to create elegance.