The speed of light




We must conduct research and then accept the results. – Dalai Lama XIV


As you know from previous posts, I have been experimenting with high speed photography. This is defined as any photography that utilises a shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second or greater to capture high speed movement.

There are two recognised methods for achieving this. The first is to use powerful continuous lighting and control the speed via the shutter release. I outlined this in the post here using a water tank to capture the moment of thrusting my fist in to the water.

The second method is more effective at capturing those moment of extreme speed, but is an altogether trickier beast to manage.

It requires the use of flash lighting in a pitch black room. By using 3 flash units triggered remotely it is possible to capture upwards of 1/4000th of a second meaning you can grab higher speed actions in crisp detail.

Because the flash is firing at 1/4000th of a second it is irrelevant how long the shutter remains open for. This is where the pitch black room comes in. Any light seeping in before or after the flash fires but whilst the shutter remains open will expose the movement and spoil the shot.

Which brings us to the real problem with this technique. You can’t fire off long bursts of shots (at least I have yet to work out how to do it but it may be possible) and so you have to time the shot perfectly which is not easy to do.

The image attached is my first attempt and I went through a fair few eggs to get this.

Over all I prefer the continuous lighting option as it gives me greater control of the environment, the ability to set up the shot more precisely and of course the opportunity to shoot in bursts meaning a greater likelihood of timing the shot perfectly.

But I am just beginning with the flash technique so I will continue to learn and experiment in my search for perfection.

I am not one to accept results if they do not meet my requirements. Apologies, your holiness.

2 thoughts on “The speed of light

  1. I first thought this was an exotic amber ring, or necklace with feathers hanging from it. Only when I enlarged it did i finally figure out it was an egg breaking! You are having such fun with your experiments. Thanks for letting us watch.

    Liked by 1 person

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