Detailed Macro Shots of Bullets Piercing Plexiglass Look Like Exploding Galaxies

plexiglass bullethole

High-speed photography is used to capture extremely fast phenomena. One of the first practical applications of high-speed photography was a result of an investigation into whether or not all four of a horse’s feet actually lift off the ground at once while galloping. The first photograph, on the other hand, was of a supersonic flying bullet. Nowadays, firearms shoot bullets at incredible speed, so fast that they cannot be seen by the naked eye.

Upon coming across a sales display containing a plexiglass panel which had been battered by gun shots, photographer Deborah Bay’s curiosity was aroused. She wanted to capture the raw power of bullets piercing this surface. The Texan entitled the series The Big Bang. It is a study of close-up shots of these bullets upon impact.

bullet shot through plexiglass

This photo series allows us to examine the amount of energy released on impact in a safe and controlled manner.

bullet smeared on plexiglass

“I was particularly interested in how the transparent plastic captured the fragmentation of the bullets and provided a dramatic way of seeing ballistic power outside the usual frame of reference,” she tells Fast Coexist.

bullet exploding

Deborah shares more about the concept on her website,

I also was intrigued by the psychological tension created between the jewel-like beauty and the inherent destructiveness of the fragmented projectiles.

big bang series

Many of them bear a resemblance to the violent explosion of galaxies in deep outer space. No two bullets bear the same imprint on the plexiglass, making each photo unique.

To produce these photos, Bay sought the assistance of professionals from the Public Safety Institute at Houston Community College. Bullets were shot through glass under controlled environments, and Bay photographed the effects afterwards.

bullet shot at plexiglass

Bay stops short of stating her stand on gun control. That issue aside, her photos reveal a mighty power that is unleashed in every single bullet.

See the Big Bang over on Bay’s website.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.