High Speed Photography by Robin Truran - Part 1

In this blog Robin will describe his early experiments with this challenging type of photography

I have just turned 60, but I have enjoyed photography since I was about 10 years old when my father bought me a little 35mm camera. I love photographing birds and wildlife and I enjoy landscapes and portraits, however, in my quest to do something different I jumped feet first into high speed photography!

It was probably not the right decision but I decided from the outset to do it my way, not just copy what others had done before. The first picture I did was of a wine glass breaking (Image 1). After a few hours setting it up I got a small hammer to swing into the wine glass and I took the picture. The camera shutter was open for two seconds so the image had to be taken in the dark with lighting by two flashes triggered by a small infrared emitter and detector I had made from a kit, this was my first venture into amateur electronics.

Encouraged by the results I made a sound triggered circuit to take images and the picture of the balloon with glasses (Image 2) was taken by this method. Again the shutter was open for two seconds and I used two flashes to freeze the action.

As a natural progression I tried shooting wine glasses with an air rifle (as you do!) however triggering with sound became difficult so I had to build an adjustable delay circuit which was yet another major step into electronics for me.

Top Tip: “Safety during these shoots with high speed projectiles is paramount”

More from Robin next week.


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