Introducing "Superspeed Photography"

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DesmondD Forum Member • Posts: 56
Introducing "Superspeed Photography"

It's time to introduce my invention for global shutters. I started doing this back in the days of the Nikon D50 because they had a global shutter, a CCD sensor that switched the entire sensor at once. They moved away from those sensors so I kind of gave up on my idea for a while. Now we have the Sony A9iii and hopefully a move back to global shutters for all cameras at some stage.

I call my invention "Superspeed photography" [gallery in the link]. It is the act of photographing an event that occurs only because you have taken the picture. With normal high speed photography you generally use a slower shutter speed and trigger the flash with a noise of some sort to capture something happening really fast based on the flash freezing the motion, like this:

But with Superspeed photography you use the flash circuit to trigger an event, like, for example, a high voltage spark. Here is a BTS shot of my flash connected in series with an ignition coil which triggers a spark the instant the flash fires.

So you can take photos at 1/4000th of a second [with a Nikon D50 or 40, or a camera with a global shutter] that only happened because you took the photo.

It may even have scientific applications - here is an image at 1/4000th sec showing that a 30 000V spark doesn't go through water, it moves around it.

Here is the only photo of its kind on earth. I was taking photos of a spark jumping through sugar crystals when a fly landed on the pile. I watched the fly walk between the probes [I would have swatted it anyway] and took the photo. This is Shrodinger's fly, it is both alive and dead in this image taken at 1/4000th sec. At the beginning of the exposure, lit by the spark, the fly was alive. At the end it was dead.

As an example of other techniques I still need to further - I wired  a solenoid with a pin on it and used it to pop a water balloon when the flash fired - only 1/30th sec but it's a start.

And in this image I used another technique, I connected my flash circuit to a 1500V 3500 amp SCR and used it to dump a 400V 1300uf capacitor across a piece of wire to split a water balloon open. The shutter speed was only 1/125th sec but it was my first successful attempt at splitting a water balloon in broad daylight and capturing the split. I had a sound activated flash trigger to one side as well and when the wire exploded it fired the flash to light the split.

Anyway, this is just the beginning, I can't wait to experiment more with really high shutter speeds. Here is my new channel for those interested in keeping updated on new experiments.

 DesmondD's gear list:DesmondD's gear list
Nikon D40 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Panasonic G85 Panasonic GH5
Nikon D50
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