After a brief explanation of the science behind how a gun fires, Destin from Smarter Everyday, delves right into the science behind capturing gun fire with a camera. What makes it even cooler is that some of these guns have multiple feet of muzzle flash pouring out of their barrels along with a bullet traveling at speeds ranging from 800 to 4000 feet per second. Watch the following video tutorial to see how the guys are able to capture speeding bullets and muzzle flash:
There’s also a mention of safety, of course, considering that the group of guys working with Destin in the film are essentially firing high powered guns into pitch blackness. If you consider attempting this, use extreme caution.
Now for the science. To get his camera synced to fire when the gun fires, Destin ingeniously assembled a system which employs a piezoelectric transducer that he mounted on a wooden box, a pulse generator, and a flash head. The piezoelectric transducer takes the acoustic energy from the gun firing and sends it into pulse generator which converts the acoustic energy and fires the flash and camera. The result, some pretty awesome high-speed photography:
While all of this looks relatively easy and a whole lot of fun, don’t throw caution to the wind. As Destin points out, unless you are highly trained with weapons, it’s best to get some training under your belt before you go out and tackle this one. In case you missed it in the video, he uses a remote trigger on his DSLR for shots that were taken down range from the gun.
For further training on high speed photography and other tricks of the trade, a great resource is an eBook and video training program found here: Trick Photography and Special Effects
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