For the human eye light is instantaneous. When a strobe fires, the subject is illuminated directly after the strobe has been fired and it seems that there is no time in between. You could say that it literally happens in a flash.
Although most of you reading this website — as photographers — will capture the result of this flash, have you ever wondered how the light actually travels? This is what SEEC photography (“See c“) is all about.
Instead of creating some kind of hyper slow-motion video, the team captures the moment of the light over the subject by capturing single frames. The subject sits very still, a pulsed laser is used to fire short flashes of light and from each flash a single frame is captured. By combining the frames afterwards, a kind of time lapse is created with the effect that one can see how the light washes over the subject.
This is also an excellent illustration of how the inverse square law works. Surfaces that are closer to the light source are illuminated earlier and thus are brighter, because the light had less time to spread.
For more information about this technology and the team that created these movies, please check out the SEEC Photography website.