The present paper gives a survey on recent applications of high-speed photography and cinematography in various fields of scientific research such as plasma physics, laser physics and high power pulse technology. Toward this end classical optical systems have been used and new recording methods have been developed. Improved temporal and spatial resolution has been achieved. High-speed shutters provide useful information if self-luminous phenomena have to be in-vestigated. Since high light amplification is obtained with intensifiers even weakly luminous processes such as electrical prebreakdown phenomena can be recorded. The use of lasers provides highly interesting applications in the ps-, ns- and in the ps-time scale. New laser switching techniques are reported. Nano- and subnanosecond laser pulses, like those produced by superradiant gas laser sources are currently used, because pulse repetition rates up to the GHz range are easily available. By the use of additional dyes the wavelengths of these pulses can be transformed nearly throughout the whole visible spectral range. If needed for particular experiments, precise timing can be provided. For highest time resolution, however, mode locked lasers are required. Examples are given of the feasability of high-speed photographic techniques for the investigation of electrical discharges, for example in sparks or in plasma focus devices, and for studies of optically induced breakdown processes by focussing high power laser radiation on solids state targets, liquids or gases.