The Breaking Point: Experimentation with high speed photography

Nov 12, 2019 | Three broken plates, eight shattered light bulbs and a dozen or so exploded firecrackers later, I came out with this trio of images from an evening of experimentation with high-speed photography techniques. A sound-activated shutter trigger connected to a pair of wireless flashes made capturing the precise moment of impact possible. All three moments were captured well after sundown in near-total darkness to facilitate long exposures and ensure no ambient sources of light would create a double exposure-effect. A long exposure allowed time to press the shutter, let my eyes adjust to the darkness, and move into position to drop or detonate the subjects on exact, prefocused spots on the ground. The flashes fired when the sound-activated shutter trigger “heard” the impact. While the camera’s shutter remained open for as long as 10 seconds, the exposures were effectively only as long as the exceedingly brief burst of light — recording a sliver of time tiny enough to appreciate the finer details of disintegration.