Physicist and photographer combine talents to capture high-speed underwater videos


Underwater photographer Keith Ellenbogen and MIT theoretical physicist Allan Adams might seem unlikely partners, but the pair have just teamed up to produce high-speed videos for the New England Aquarium. If the early results are anything to go by, that’s very good news for ocean research!

The two met at a dinner party in 2013 and began to talk about high-speed cameras. Ellenbogen was working with the New England Aquarium on promotional content and Adams had recently discovered a collection of high-speed camera equipment at MIT. They soon realized that they could work together to produce unique underwater videos. Their first project together was to capture footage of a cuttlefish hunting. A cuttlefish typically strikes within a fraction of a second, making it practically impossible to see with the naked eye, but Ellenbogen and Adams were able to capture it in slow-motion.

This impressive video led to the New England Aquarium creating a television ad for the first time since the 1970s. Ellenbogen and Allan ended up working together on an entire ad campaignfor the aquarium. The combination of Ellenbogen’s underwater videography skills and Adams’ knowledge of high-speed cameras led to incredible results and an excellent way to attract visitors to the aquarium. Shortly thereafter, Allan arranged for Ellenbogen to receive a MIT visiting artist fellowship and the two now teach classes together.

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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