Best of Web – Milk Drop Coronet

Best of Web – Milk Drop Coronet

I appreciate Milk Drop Coronet because it is both a symbol of revolutionary scientific technology and artistic beauty, This image was taken in 1936, long before digital manipulation or consumer-level strobes, and printed in 1957. It stands as the result of years of patience and thought. Harold Edgerton, the photographer, was a visionary scientist and inventor. This image was taken with a camera created by Edgerton himself in order to use strobe-lighting and freeze the moment a milk drop splashes back from the surface, becoming a perfect crown.

It is an image that mesmerizes me. During every moment, within every action, there are beautiful ephemera we cannot begin to know before they disappear forever. Milk Drop Coronet reminds me of how vast our world can be, and how small our knowledge is. It is humbling and lovely. I know that this image is not native to the web, but it is the best flow visualization I know of, and the fact that it remains through so many technological advances is, I believe, a testament to its lasting power.

Image from the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Background information from 100 Photos by Time Magazine and the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Collection Records.

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9 Comments. Leave new

  • Casey Cooter
    Feb 2, 2018 11:26

    First Place.

    This image is delightfully simple, but highlights physics people take for granted. There is no complex setup in this image and there are no complicated colors used to highlight what goes on. The origin of this image further emphasizes all of the points I made, and hence why I feel that it is the first place winner.

  • Geya Kairamkonda
    Feb 1, 2018 21:23

    First place. This image is what I think of when I think flow visualization. It is so simple, yet perfectly demonstrates the complexity and physics behind a single drop of milk being dropped into red dye.

  • J.T. Balling
    Feb 1, 2018 21:12

    Third prize: The color contrast in this photo is very eye-catching, almost theater-like. The circular like curvature demonstrates flow visualization beautifully as a crown splash pattern is created.

  • John Monahan
    Jan 31, 2018 23:09

    First Prize. This picture is an excellent example of flow visualization. The contrast between the splash and the pool that it comes from draws the eye when examining all of the images posted. The single drop suspended in the air makes you wonder how on earth it got there.

  • Second prize. Beautiful crow and perfect timing.

  • Yousef Taqi
    Jan 30, 2018 13:42

    Third Place. The image depicted looks rather calculated which makes it’s natural visualization that much more mesmerizing. How every little droplet almost “escapes” out and away from the already well defined circular drop mark is quite the sight to look at.

  • Yousef Taqi
    Jan 30, 2018 13:41

    Third Place. The image depicted looks rather calculated which makes it’s natural behavior that much more mesmerizing. How every little droplet almost “escapes” outwards from the already well defined circular drop mark is quite the sight to loom at.

  • Tanner Wismer
    Jan 29, 2018 13:03

    Third prize. This milk droplet coronet is a great example of flow visualization. This photo captures the milk droplet at the perfect moment and must’ve taken a lot of time and patience to get this shot. The color contrast and the fluid flow of the droplet is mesmerizing.

  • Cyron Completo
    Jan 26, 2018 10:45

    First place. The Milk Drop Coronet is a simple, yet aesthetically pleasing photograph of the result of a milk drop splashing on a thin layer of fluid. The coronet resulting from this interaction seems almost perfectly still, yet maintains the characteristics of fluid motion at the same time.


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