Gjon Mili, born in 1904 in Albania, arrived in the United States in 1923 and seven years later, through his work with Harold Eugene Edgerton at MIT he was already working on photographic experiments in capturing sequences of actions in a single photograph through the use of a flash that immobilized a scene, He was one of the first people to ever use an electronic flash and stroboscopic light in the production of pictures that went far beyond mere scientific use.
Until his death in 1984, he was a photographer for LIFE magazine, whose various assignments led him to photograph countless celebrities, including Pablo Picasso. Mili visited him twice and, in both occasions he found himself involved in never-before-seen creative experiences. The result of his first visit, in 1949, is the photo of Picasso drawing a centaur with a light pen.
This extraordinary drawing is a moment of brilliance, on Picasso's part, when faced with new ways and techniques of visualization. When Mili showed him some photos with light created by skaters, his instant reaction was to draw numerous images in the air with his own finger. Here are some pictures of both visits.