Snap a Gun Firing

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by rob40wilson03, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. rob40wilson03

    rob40wilson03 TPF Noob!

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    I need some advice from all you guys.

    For my physics class we have an assignment that involves physics-photography. We will be graded on it (as if I wouldn't take it seriously anyway since its photography!) and we have to take shots of things that relate to physics. I'm a member of a shooting range and I want to take pictures of a gun firing. I've got a friend to fire the gun while I fire the shutter. But I need some recommendations for camera settings, etc.

    I have:
    -Canon 300D
    -kit lens
    -28-135 IS
    -Shooting range is INDOORS with low light

    Any help is greatly appreciated
     
  2. eravedesigns

    eravedesigns TPF Noob!

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    You will want to shoot the highest shutter speed you can to freeze the action but you most likely wont be able to freeze the bullet mid air. To do this you have to think beyond a shutter and into the realm of strobes. Usually what they do for photos like that is shoot in a completely dark room and have a sensor that triggers when the bullet passes it. It triggers a strobe that fires and during all this the shutter of the camera is open to take in all that light. Basically the strobe acts as a shutter. At the shooting range you will just end up getting some pics of some smoke and maybe a bit of red flames around the gun barrel. Good luck
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, if you want to stop a bullet in a photo...you would need to do it with a strobe (flash)...and maybe even an exceptionally fast (short burst) flash. Google 'high speed photography' to find some examples and maybe a tutorial.

    I remember reading how to do something like this...and it involved building a sound trigger to fire the flash.
     
  4. airgunr

    airgunr TPF Noob!

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    I would think you are going to need a very fast shutter speed and therefor lots of light. Do a web search for High Speed Flash and you'll get some cool stuff. Here's one link that is interesting. http://store.makezine.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MKHSPKIT

    Timing of the shutter release is another issue. If you have a High Speed flash setting on your flash you could try working with that.

    I guess you could just do a countdown with someone shooting the gun and just do a series of shots and see what you get. With digital you won't be burning through a bunch of film.

    If you have an off camera flash try different possitions for it. Say at a 45 degree angle off to the side from the front and then the backside of the barrel. Out of the frame so it only lights up the end of the barrel and hopefully the muzzle flash & gasses.

    Good luck and let us know how it turns out. Be careful and don't put your eye out! :^D
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Trying to freeze it with a fast shutter might be very hard...as you mention, the timing would be extremely hard to get right.

    High speed flash sync is usually a setting where the flash will pulse the light in multiple bursts (like a strobe light)...so that's not really an option IMO.

    Doing it in complete darkness with a long shutter speed and flash, is the better way to go...again IMO.

    Good suggestion about the direction of the light.
     
  6. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That had something like this as a side blurb to a gun myth on myth busters. They couldn't even catch the bullet with their high speed camera. I think the most you can hope to accomplish is catching the muzzle blast.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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  8. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    What I have seen done to great effect is...

    Put a mirror a few feet down the firing range with some flashes aimed at the shooter. Underexpose on the flash by 1/2 a stop. Get your subject - in the dark to shoot directly at the mirror - as soon as he sees the flash. Direct your camera at the mirror.

    The result will be a perfectly exposed subject with the gunbarrel pointing directly at the camera (or so it would appear) and a very visible muzzle-flash. The mirror will - of course- be destroyed so don't use Aunty Gracies heirloom mirror. Use a cheap mirror from Lowes instead.
     
  9. Kawi_T

    Kawi_T TPF Noob!

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    Just be safe! You'll probably need the camera to be in the range, so put it on the tripod and use the remote shutter release. (maybe?) Maybe thats not fast enough, I don't know.
     
  10. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

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    You might have better results with something like a BB, or paintball gun as the projectile is moving much slower.
     
  11. rob40wilson03

    rob40wilson03 TPF Noob!

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    WOW, you guys have really given some great advice... but i have to apologize.....

    i should have said that i wasn't trying to freeze the bullet itself (knowing how difficult this would be) but to try to catch some flame from the barrel / the slide in motion / empty cartridge ejecting / etc.

    sorry for the confusion!
    and thanks for all the great input
     
  12. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can make a sound trigger with stuff from radio shack. They work well for the pictures of busting water balloons so I think it may be a viable option like suggested above.
     

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