The phrase goes, “faster than a speeding bullet!” and the reference is for good reason. Bullets travel lethally fast and are practically invisible to the human eye. That is precisely why these series of photographs are so startling. Dutch photographer Alexander Augusteijn has created a collection of dramatic photographs that show us what a slug piercing a drop of water looks like.
Obviously, capturing these took a lot of patience, perfect timing, the right equipment and an appropriate studio. After some experimenting, Augusteijn was able to precisely plot the exact location where a fired bullet would hit a single drop of water! He then tweaked things a bit according to his calculations, cautiously measuring a designated volume of H2o to be released at the just the precise instant.
As the droplet arrives at a certain point, a pistol would then be fired, which at the same time would trigger the camera. This whole orchestrated sequence perfectly timed by Augusteij takes only a brief 28 milliseconds. Adjustments here and there are made in just around 1/1000th increments of a second. Sounds like rocket science? Whatever you call it, just take a look at the images as they are truly amazing.
Augusteijn wrote briefly about himself and the art of ‘catching’ a bullet.
“I am a photographer from the Netherlands, specializing in high speed photography. I use a normal flash to achieve very short illuminations. The most critical parameter in this kind of photography is timing, which is achieved by computer control of shutter, flash, valve, gun or whatever other device is used. These kind of images require a lot of experimentation, dedication, patience and willingness to endlessly clean spill of liquids and debris from objects shot to pieces. Several hundreds of trial shots may be needed to get timing correct. After that, the process is pretty well controlled, and often half of the shots will be usable, with 1 out of 10 really interesting.”