George Costanza may never walk into a beauty parlor and say “Give me the Larry Fine!” but, if you ask LA based commercial photographer Tim Tadder, bald is beautiful. Or, at least his collection of images called “Water Wigs,” that has made its way around the web, makes it so.
The collection captures men with receding hairlines with mohawks, halos and top hats made out of water—literally. Tadder describes the idea behind the images he created using laser and sound triggers:
“We found a bunch of awesome bald men and hurled water balloons at their heads, to capture the explosion of water at various intervals. The result a new head of of water hair! Our favorites are “The Don King,” “The Conquistador,” “The Jesus” and “The Friar.”
So if these aqua-wigs aren’t giving Rogaine a run for their money, why do it? In an interview with Wired, Tadder, who has created highly-stylized images for big-name brands like Adidas, Budweiser and Gatorade, says he “got tired of repeating the same thing all the time,” that he “wanted to find a visual concept that never seen before.” He was right—most of us hadn’t seen it before either. And it’s probably because of how technical the process was from idea to final product. Wired explains:
To do this, however, he had to make his studio completely dark and freeze the action with a high-speed flash firing at one ten-thousandth of a second. Not surprisingly, it took a while to get things right.
“You can only throw a water balloon at head so many times,” he says.
To make it work, Tadder had an assistant up on a ladder with the balloon in hand. The assistant would then shine a flashlight on the model’s head, figure out their aim, turn the flashlight off and get ready to throw.
The team used skinny balloons for the odder shapes, like “The Jesus” but the task was two fold: In addition to popping the balloon off-camera, members of the team would also need to time the explosion of several other water balloons in the frame.
Despite all of this time playing with water (He’s got another series titled Fish Heads), Tadder, explains on his website, he still finds time to raise his kids and be a good husband—in between Baltimore Ravens football games that is. In case you were wondering if Tadder is bald too, the Huffington Post found out that answer and few others for you:
HP: Out of curiosity, are you bald?
TT: I am not bald, but thought of shaving my head for a self portrait. I did participate but I am far too hairy!
HP: Who would be your dream bald icon to hit with a water balloon?