Hammer thrower, U.S. track team Olympic tryouts,
Palo Alto, California,
1960 © Time Inc.

 

Silk had a portable version made, using a phonograph motor to drive the film past the slit which replaced a conventional shutter. The image produced by the slit camera turned the hammer thrower at the U.S. tryouts into a cartoon strongman, but also conveyed the intensely private moment of the athlete straining in his endeavour to win. The slit camera pictures were quite abstract — Silk said: 'I was thrilled when the prints showed strength, speed, design — originality.' For the tryouts story in Life, 18 July 1960, Managing Editor, Edward K. Thompson ran the slit-camera images as large illustrations alongside straight shots of the winners.