The phrase referring to vintage Superman of the 1930’s, “faster than speeding bullet!” implied one thing. Bullets travel terribly fast. So fast that they typically clock at around 1,200 feet per second. That’s pretty terminal velocity, literally speaking. The naked eye cannot see the bullet as it exits any firearm, and the only warning you will get from an incoming slug is the loud bang of a shot fired. Not as far as Herra Kuulapaa is concerned.
The Finnish photographer and high-speed ballistics expert has spent the last 7 years of his life experimenting and refining his technique for capturing images of the microseconds after a bullet exits a gun barrel. Not only is that difficult to do, but Kuulapaa is one of the few who has carved a niche in that subject area.
His high speed pictures are able to freeze the moments a bullet is fired from a gun, seemingly stopping its forceful rate as it dashes through the air. Even in still images, one can see the awesome and lethal power that is unleashed by these guns.
Besides the image of a speeding bullet, every one of these photos also captures the explosion of gunpowder that catapults every slug, engulfing the shooter in a faint cloud. The information that is being gathered from these images by Kuulapaa are being put to good use as part of the research and development efforts of gun and ammunition manufacturers to advance their products, especially in areas like muzzle flash and recoil. Kuulapaa’s unique method of picturing stereoscopic 3D ballistics images allows us to observe the three-dimensional structure of every gunshot. His website offers this description of himself and his unique niche in the firearms industry.
“Author, Herra Kuulapaa is a Finnish photographer and experimentalist. His interests lie in imaging usually hidden things such as high speed ballistic events and dim objects of the sky. No obstacle is great enough to prevent him seeking new approaches or difficult technological photographical methods to reveal unseen world.”
Visit Kuulapaa’s website here and see amazing shots taken, of shots fired.