Capturing colorful high-speed lightbulb explosions with a low-cost rig
Ever since Harold Edgerton photographed a bullet tearing through an apple, it seems the urge to document these split seconds of destruction has not flagged. In photographer Jon Smith’s case, his victims are lightbulbs filled with colorful objects.
His setup is surprisingly inexpensive, including a trigger and the flash from a disposable camera, and the whole rig is assembled in his garage. The other key components are a Canon DSLR (first a Canon EOS 7D then an Canon EOS 5D Mark III) and a pellet gun. Each lightbulb is filled with colorful liquids or objects like feathers, dice and beer bottle caps. The camera is pre-focused, shots are fired (both the camera shutter and the pellet gun,) and the moment of impact is captured.
|Jon Smith's setup is basic but effective. A cheap sound trigger, the flash from a disposable camera and some other simple components allow him to achieve his eye-catching results.|
Though lightbulbs are most certainly at risk in Smith's possession, no harm is done to his garage in the process. If the bulb and its contents don't stop the pellet, a punching bag in the line of fire absorbs the impact.