Ballistic Photography

Harold Edgerton

im00231.jpg (25363 bytes) Harold Edgerton Milk Coronet 1936


Ballistics Photography refers to the area of photography concerned with taking pictures of bullets being fired from a gun or bullets penetrating their respective targets. The techniques involved with taking ballistic related photos are similar to those for any other subject of high-speed photography, such as pictures of splashing liquids or popping balloon.

  Andrew Davidhazy

As with any other specialized area of photography, ballistics photography demands a certain set of equipment. In addition to a high-speed flash, a photographer may also need a cable release and a trigger to align the flash with the event. The trigger, perhaps the most important piece of equipment, activates the camera to take the picture based on either the sound or light emitted from the high-speed event.

While a bullet shot out of a gun will have a trigger that is rigged to go off based on the sound of the gun being fired, the trigger will be set to be light-sensitive if it is attempting to capture a flash of lightning. For sound triggered shots, a photographer may also want to use a microphone to make the trigger extra sensitive to perceiving the first whispers of sound.

Although ballistic photography may be taken for artistic effect, it most often comes into play for scientific research and experiments.

Andrew Davidhazy

Andrew Davidhazy