By Danielle Scregg
We all know that at the beginning of November fireworks fill our skies and bonfires ruin our fields. With this in mind I would like to introduce a style of photography that takes the explosive month literally.
A variety of people have experimented with capturing things explode and I feel it creates an impressive photograph.
I would have thought that in order to create these photographs you would need an extremely fast shutter speed, I was wrong, you need so much more skill. Photographer Alan Saller actually used a camera (Nikon 40X) which actually has a fairly slow shutter speed.
Therefore, in order to freeze time like he has done, he made his own high speed flash unit. A normal photographic flash unit gives a flash that lasts around a millisecond. Alan created one that produced a flash of a millionth of a second allowing him to capture something beyond the human eyes possibilities. He also used an automatic trigger mechanism which triggered the flash as the pellet passed through a laser beam.
The photographs were taken in darkness and while the camera shutter is open, the high speed flash captures the image. This allows a more accurate capture of the pellet moving through the object.
I think his photographs are exciting and dangerous. What I find so interesting is the way in which photographs can freeze a single moment in time. In this case the photograph goes one step further and freezes a moment that we should never be able to physically see with our own eyes.
Alan has commented that it is a stressful process as it takes so long to set up and then it is over in less than a second. Can you imagine the mess that this style of photography leaves behind?
It is an elegant and artistic way of simply blowing things.
There have been other photographers that have worked in a similar style. Johnny Lee and Mark Watson capture images of hammers hitting bottles and pellet’s striking through fruit. What makes Alan’s images stand out are the bright colours and the fascinating textures.
Like Alan, London photographer Edward Horsford uses a range of coloured backgrounds but his subjects are different. He captures the popping of balloons using a similar method to Alan.
The amount of planning, skill and procession that goes into this kind of photography is phenomenal. So much time goes into actually setting up for a single shoot. Even before the shoot begins these photographers have spent time building their own devices that allows them to capture such an unbelievable final image.
I take my hat off to these photographic artists.