Long exposure photography can yield some of the most artful, intriguing photographs when done right. Photographer Paul Scneggenburger has taken stunning images of couples' movements in their sleep that have an x-ray like quality, through their softness and monochromatic color scheme.

Of the series, titled The Sleep of the Beloved, Scneggenburger says, “Is it a nocturnal lovers’ dance—which is not necessarily sensual, but rather a kind of unconscious act of tenderness—or are they turning their backs on each other?" He adds, “I’m fascinated by sleep. What’s going on in the body; what’s going on in the mind?” 

The intimate images reveal humanity's desire to have closeness in many ways, including the unconscious ones. Enjoy these few images from the series and view the photographs in-person at the Anzenberger Gallery in Vienna starting February 5, 2013.

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[via CNN]