“Bullet time” is a visual effect where action is slowed down so much that even the most miniscule of movements can be photographed. The term was first coined by the makers of the movie The Matrix to describe their filming of the bullets flying through the air. Simulating the effect using 360 degree rigs and numerous DSLRs is how it’s normally done with conventional photography, but sports photographer Brandon Griffiths managed to create bullet time using pinhole cameras:
What is a Pinhole Camera?
Pinhole cameras–the first cameras known to humankind–are basically light-proof boxes with a small hole in one side and no lens.
How Is the Bullet Time Effect Created?
By using over 364 pinhole cameras on a custom built rig and shooting onto 35mm black and white film, Griffith manages to create the same bullet time effect as digital photographers, but with a softer focus and a never-ending depth of field. After shooting hundreds of images, each photo was then individually scanned and collated into a cinematic sequence to produce the video you see above. (Remember, he’s shooting on film!)
This project is an exploration in showing action in greater detail through the imperfection of pinhole photography.
The result? An awesome slowing down of time that previously was thought to be possible only with computers or with expensive DSLR rigs.
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