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Photographer takes some fantastic shots - literally

 14th Oct 2009

A photographer has designed a special flash to allow him to capture the moment a bullet from his air gun passes through a number of organic objects, with remarkable results.

Alan Sailer has compiled a collection of stunning photographs showing the effect of an air gun pellet on items including strawberries, roses and even cheese.

The Californian photographer takes the pictures in a dark room with the item he is 'shooting' positioned around 20cm from his camera lens. The camera is then set at a one-second delay and includes a home-made flash which is based on a design by Harold Edgerton.

The flash has a duration of around 0.5 microseconds and runs at 17,000 volts. This flash is triggered when the pellet from Sailer’s air gun passes through a laser beam at around 200 metres per second.

Sailer explains the technicalities of taking such an amazing picture, “the camera is set at one second and an f-stop of 9-13 depending on the reflectivity of the subject. The flash stops the action. The one second gives me time to click the camera shutter with one hand while I pull the trigger on the rifle with the other.”

He continues, “I have a delay circuit that I can use to time the flash, so that it goes off when the pellet hits the target. The explosion is the shock of the pellet hitting the target.”

Possibly one of the most amazing images is of an air rifle pellet hitting a razor blade and being sliced neatly in half.

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