[Death Wish] How To Dangerously Photograph Gun Muzzle Blasts

This video from Smarter Every Day shows how you can capture any gun's flame throwing abilities with precise accuracy. Using a Pulse Generator, Destin explains how he rigged his flash setup to fire at the exact moment the gun is fired. By dragging the shutter and combining the exposure with flash, the Alabama native created some pretty interesting photographs. Some even show the bullet leaving the muzzle!

Of course you need to practice extreme safety when photographing any sort of weapon, but as Destin explains in the video, you can create some pretty sick death wish photos with the simple use of a pocket wizard pre release cord. Just imagine how awesome these final images could look straight out of the camera with no photoshop if the lighting was tweaked just a bit! My head is already buzzing with themes and conceptual ideas! When is that next Carolina gun show?

Destin, if you ever want to take a vacation to Charleston, I have a cooler of beers on a boat waiting for you if you bring this setup!

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Philip Ball's picture

Ive been wondering if the muzzle flash could trigger an optical trigger like a peanut slave

Patrick Hall's picture

 I know so little about this sort of thing but even if it could, the optical slave would not allow you to tweak the precise timing...it might fire when the light is the brightest (too late) or maybe when it first sees a change in exposure (too early).  Just my guess

Patrick, may I suggest you save the beers until after you're done shooting? :)

What freaks me out is that he is firing toward the camera. I was expecting a 90 degree view... not 45 degree from full frontal!!!!  damn!

Three things I love: Guns, photography, and science... Man, this was just awesome.. If I could make one suggestion,  try it with a black powder gun.. lots more fire and smoke!!!

The images are cool, but since I'm not trained with guns, and neither are my friends, I won't be duplicating this any time soon. I would be even more awesome if there were more lights used to give more dimension to the image captured to make it look more commercial. I would have enjoyed some back light, rim, and/or hair light. I would have used a minimum of 3 lights, though would prefer 4. 

I was wondering, wouldn't a sound trigger also work well for this and just add a small fraction of a second to when the sound starts to account for time for the bullet to leave the barrel from when the bullet is first hit in it's chamber? I've seen other images where people use a sound trigger to capture images of bullets hitting objects. 

Smarter Every Day's picture

Thanks for the invite.... but guns and beers don't mix!  The channel is called "Smarter Every Day" after all.  Thanks for the post!  - Destin

redneck photography. i love it. seriously though. that was awesome! great work.