Tantalum provides an interesting case to study plastic deformation owing to its different competing plasticity mechanisms, a combination of dislocation flow (slip) and deformation twinning. Here, we report direct, in situ observation of twinning and slip in shock compressed Ta using x-ray diffraction. Tantalum with an initial (110) fiber texture was subjected to shock compression in the 10-300 GPa pressure range at strain-rates above 10^9 s−1 and the ultrafast texture evolution was recorded via in situ, time-resolved x-ray diffraction. By observing changes in the azimuthal intensity of the diffraction pattern, both lattice orientation and twin fraction were extracted, which were used to find the equivalent plastic strain from twinning and slip. On release, the lattice rotation and the twins that are formed under shock-compression are observed to be almost fully eliminated by the rarefaction process.