Sound-triggered high-speed flash photography
These experiments were performed as part of the 2008 Astro-Science Workshop of the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, IL.
Speedy burst water balloon
“Awesome and interesting shot of a water balloon being popped. I’ve never seen a planet blow up, but this is how I imagine it would look.”
Smashed (and burning) bulb
The photo is taken by Peter Wienerroither from the University of Wien, Austria.
“This photo perfectly freezes the moment between the breaking of the bulb and the tungsten filaments (thereby breaking the source of light), it’s a sort of limbo captured.”
How To Make High-Speed Photos?
The choice of shutter speed has a profound effect on the way moving subjects are recorded. For average everyday shooting with standard zooms, a speed over 1/20 to 1/125 second will prevent motion blur (camera shake). However, as the shutter speed goes past 1/500 second, you can then start to take advantage of the faster shutter speed’s ability to freeze action. For high-speed photography (especially sports photography), it is really necessary to get good motion blur-free shots. But making these speeds possible also requires either wide apertures, bright lighting conditions or an adjustment to the camera’s ISO speed — or a combination of all three.
Sometime the task of catching the most expressive instant, which can last for only hundredths of a second, becomes very difficult. In such cases, most photographers use the sequence mode, so that the camera fires several shots as it is panned. Cameras with a sequence mode let you fire a sequence and then throw out all of the non-sharp or useless images.
If you need to shoot a photo of a girl’s hair flying about or freeze the splash of a pouring drink, strobe is the way to do it. Most photographers use electronic flash as the lighting source in studios to freeze motion. Since electronic flash (strobe) stays lit between 1/800th and 1/2000th of a second, and because you will usually be shooting at f-stops above f-8, everything in the image will be razor sharp.