The master of high speed photography was Harold Edgerton, and we are only following in his footsteps. "Doc" Edgerton invented the photographic flash and refined it for ultra high speed photography that allowed him to freeze a bullet in midair. For the hobbyist, bullets are dangerous, probably illegal to shoot in your studio, and too fast. But we can shoot similar scenes with an inexpensive pellet gun and the Time Machine. In a dark room the camera shutter is opened, an optical detector "sees" the pellet leave the gun barrel, and the Time Machine waits a programmed delay before firing the flash to catch the picture.
The following pictures show some examples taken with the Time Machine. The gun used in the balloon pictures was a Crosman model CRS-2240. It fires 22 calibre pellets at about 470 feet per second. The flash was two Vivitar model 285s that have been modified to shorten the flash duration to about 100 microseconds.
We have also used an EG&G Multiflash and an EG&G Microflash with flash durations as short as half a microsecond. The Time Machine allows you to enter delays as small as tens of microseconds. The Time Machine allows you to locate a 22 calibre bullet within a quarter of an inch.
Click on any picture to get a larger view.
All images are copyrighted by Bryan Mumford and may not be used without permission.
Shooting balloons with a pellet gun
Shooting other stuff
Shooting water balloons
Shooting dusty balloons
Exploding balloon flowers
Exploding fruit, shot by Deepa Jain of Santa Barbara, California
These images were exposed with an EG&G Microflash triggered by the Time Machine.