An experimental investigation of steep, high-frequency gravity waves (∼ 4 to 5 Hz) and the parasitic capillary waves they generate is reported. Spatial, as well as temporal, non-intrusive surface measurements are made using a new technique. This technique employs cylindrical lenses to magnify the vertical dimension in conjunction with an intensified, high-speed imaging system, facilitating the measurement of the disparate scales with a vertical surface-elevation resolution on the order of 10 μm. Thus, high-frequency parasitic capillary waves and the underlying gravity wave are measured simultaneously and accurately in space and time. Time series of spatial surface-elevation measurements are presented. It is shown that the location of the capillary waves is quasi-stationary in a coordinate system moving with the phase speed of the underlying gravity wave. Amplitudes and wavenumbers of the capillaries are modulated in space; however, they do not propagate with respect to the gravity wave. As capillary amplitudes are seen to decrease significantly and then increase again in a recurrence-like phenomenon, it is conjectured that resonance mechanisms are present. Measured surface profiles are compared to the theories of Longuet-Higgins (1963) and Crapper (1970) and the exact, two-dimensional numerical formulation of Schwartz & Vanden-Broeck (1979). Significant discrepancies are found between experimental and theoretical wavetrains in both amplitude and wavenumber. The theoretical predictions of the capillary wave amplitudes are much smaller than the measured amplitudes when the measured phase speed, amplitude, and wavelength of the gravity wave are used in the Longuet-Higgins model. In addition, this theory predicts larger wavenumbers of the capillaries as compared to experiments. The Crapper model predicts the correct order-of-magnitude capillary wave amplitude on the forward face of the gravity wave, but predicts larger amplitudes on the leeward face in comparison to the experiments. Also, it predicts larger capillary wavenumbers than are experimentally determined. Comparison of the measured profiles to multiple solutions of the stationary, symmetric, periodic solutions determined using the Schwartz & Vanden-Broeck numerical formulation show similar discrepancies. In particular, the assumed symmetry of the waveform about crest and trough in the numerical model precludes a positive comparison with the experiments, whose underlying waves exhibit significantly larger capillaries on their forward face than on their leeward face. Also, the a priori unknown multiplicity of numerical solutions for the same dimensionless surface tension and steepness parameters complicates comparison. Finally, using the temporal periodicity of the wave field, composite images of several successive wavelengths are constructed from which potential energy and surface energy are calculated as a function of distance downstream.