Tuesday, February 21, 2006

high speed photography rig

I assembled a high speed camera rig of sorts. Really its just sound trigger for a flash, soldered together and stuffed into a tupperware container. Leave shutter open on camera, make noise, flash goes off. What i'm actually most proud of is the fact that I managed to solder the thing together and a) not mess it up b) not burn the hell out of myself and c) incorporate an on/off switch that wasn't in the plans. You can see it in the pictures below. I bought the kit from here in the pre-soldered chip version that has since been discontinued.

Last friday night was kind of a test run and wasn't done in a dark enough place. Plus it was rainy and freezing, so not a whole lot was done. Later: bottles will be thrown or shot with slingshots or those crappy little pistol crossbows, and firecrackers will be stuffed into all manner of things. I kinda wish I had a backyard for this as opposed to a pool deck. I also need to start taking the pictures in RAW format so I can twiddle with the exposure more post taking the photo.
So far the results aren't as exciting as I would hope, but it's getting it at the instant of impact. I might later on add a delay to it so as it'll wait increments of 1/10,000 of second so as to not get things at their most speedy and blurry.

note: After reading the instructions for setting up my flash (half the reason i chose to do this project was that I owned the flash already and the chip and other components cost like 25$ total), I realized I was doing it wrong (namely, I needed to make a short in the thyristor to make it flash for as short as possible a time. i would never have figured out to do this on my own). The last picture is from an attempt done later on that had the flash at the right setting. Note that I found out that my flash, that I inherited from my family, is still made and costs 120$? I feel kinda bad putting stickers all over it now.

click on any of the below for an enlarged detail of the impact







(the flash unfortunately went off twice with this one)

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