Three in a Row (Water Balloons) - Nottingham, UK – Mark Watson
Patience is a virtue and Mark is a virtuous photographer. At least where patience is concerned because it took him over two years to plan and create this extremely cool image. I will let him tell you about it so please read his story below and then visit his portfolio http://www.flickr.com/photos/kalimistuk/ and then follow him on Facebook HERE.
I always wanted to take some images of things that the human eye cannot see and after seeing old images of bullets being shot through an apple from the late Doc Harold Edgerton, I had to have a try. After a year or more of looking around the web for a flash fast enough to capture a speeding bullet or even a slow air powered gun pellet, I could not find such a device so started looking into making one. After about another year or so of research I finally purchased the parts and with help from people around the world on the net I finally made a spark gap flash capable of such tasks. I used a sound delay trigger to set off the flash using a loud noise such as the rifle bang.
The camera was set up in a darkened room with just enough spill light from another room to see what I am shooting at but without affecting the image with light pollution, the camera is pre focused on the subject with a black background and the delay timer set on the camera for 10sec, The shutter is set to a 2-second exposure, after a few test shots to get the timing right I set up 3 water filled balloons hanging from a piece of wood all in a line and a bowl underneath to catch the water. lights are turned off and timer set, I take aim with the air rifle and when the shutter starts I shoot the rifle and the bang sets off a very short duration burst of light which freezes the action and becomes the exposure, I have seen exploding water balloons before but never 3 in a row so thought I would give it a try.
Camera: Panasonic FZ50
Focal length: 35mm (14mm on the fz50 with cropped sensor)
Aperture: F/10 for DOF
ISO: 400 was used as the light output from the spark gap flash is very low.
exposure on in camera was set to 2 seconds but as it was taken in a dark room using an external flash the flash becomes the exposure and was around 1/1,000,000s
the flash used is homemade spark gap flash using a 35,000 Volt capacitor to store the energy and when released as a spark over 1 inch the spark itself becomes my light source and triggered by a sound delay controller.
The air rifle used was a cheap .22cal legal limit low powered UK break barrel spring loader under 12ft lb muzzle energy.
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