Long Exposure Photos Showing Couples Tossing and Turning at Night

Isabella_Szendzielorz/ Der Liebenden Schlaf

For his project titled The Sleep of the Beloved, German photographer Paul Schneggenburger set out to capture what a sleeping couple looks like over the course of a night in single images.

Each couple was invited to spend the night inside his specially prepared studio apartment, with black sheets serving as a backdrop and candles illuminating the scene with dim lighting.

Schneggenburger then points a 4×5 camera at the couple from above, opens up the shutter, and leaves it there for a six-hour exposure from midnight to 6 in the morning.

The resulting photographs present an interesting visual documentation of how the two subjects toss and turn while deep in their sleep. Schneggenburger asks,

What happens to lovers while they are sleeping? Is it a sleeping just next to each other, each on his own, or is there a sharing of certain places or emotions? Is it a nocturnal lovers’ dance, maybe a kind of unaware performed tenderness, or does one turn the back on each other? Is there a conjunction with the other, with one’s self?

Here are a selection of the project’s photographs — you can come to your own conclusions to the questions:

Lutz/ Der Liebenden Schlaf

Max_Olga/ Der Liebenden Schlaf

Edgar/Der Liebenden Schlaf

Maria Nostanik/ Der Liebenden Schlaf

Guschelbauer/ Der Liebenden Schlaf

Zwillinge/ Der Liebenden Schlaf

Geli_Inder/ Der Liebenden Schlaf

Milena_Paul/ Der Liebenden Schlaf

Elisabeth_Thomas/Der Liebenden Schlaf

Annika_Eva/ Der Liebenden Schlaf

Schneggenburger will be exhibiting these images at the Anzenberger Gallery in Vienna starting on February 5, 2013.

(via CNN via My Modern Met)

P.S. Last year we shared a similar concept by photographer Robert Knight, titled “Sleepless“.

Image credits: Photographs by Paul Schneggenburger/Anzenberger Gallery and used with permission

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  • Piotrek Ziolkowski

    The most interesting long exposure photography I’ve seen in a long time.

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  • Opie

    Come on, I’m actually surprised when I get through a semester of crits *without* seeing this exact same concept… and usually with better execution.

    This is first-year-photo-student caliber.

    The world of “fine art” is getting profoundly, embarrassingly lazy.

  • Leonardo Abreu

    Great idea, awesome.

  • Guest


  • YouAreNotAnArtist



  • Vinicius Coelho

    Insert a unreadable logo and you have a perfect Black Metal cover.

  • Jack Wagon

    Not one nipple?

  • Philip Han

    I did this a year ago for a photo class, to be honest it was just an afterthought and reason to get an experiment shot on my last roll I had that semester. It turned out pretty freaking good, the exposure was spot on, but the framing could have been better.

    I’ll post it later on today if I can find it.

  • Khalek Cit

    is there a sharing of certain places or emotions? Is it a nocturnal lovers’ dance, maybe a kind of unaware performed tenderness, or does one turn the back on each other? Is there a .

  • Thomas Casey

    What a load of tossers.

  • homopunk84 .

    FINALLY! Something worth reporting on this damn site. This is innovative, somewhat original and wonderfully executed.