Photographic Experiment

A few fellow students at the university and I have come up with an interesting project: we’ve figured out the IR sequence that will remotely trigger the shutter on Nikon cameras. Two of my friends have suitable Nikon SLRs and some tripods. One of them is an engineering student and has some electronic gadgets that can sense loud sounds (e.g. gunshots) and then emit the IR sequence after a user-configurable delay.
We’d like to setup the cameras so that they can take simultaneous photos of the same scene from different angles. In addition to gettting some cool pictures of brass ejecting and bolts cycling, we’d also like to place the cameras a couple inches apart and attempt to blend the two images to get 3D pictures.
I’ll keep you posted as things proceed.

9 thoughts on “Photographic Experiment”

  1. I would love to see the results… one of the things i find the most fascinating is the art of capturing still images of fast moving objects. I have seen several photo spreads that have had people using light sensors that would trigger the flash when the shot went off… when done in a dark room, the only thing captured is the bullet in motion… though these methods use an shutter that is open for long periods of time.

  2. Interestingly enough, i shouldn’t have to set any particular delays for multiple IR lamps to set off each camera. Triggering a single IR lamp should fire each camera in sequence since they all have decently close shutter lags when pre-focused. My D50 is ~130ms, the D40 is ~100ms and the D80 is ~80ms. Should get us about a 3 shot burst of ~35-50fps. If need be i can trigger them individually accounting for the shutter lag to get even quicker or simultaneous shots.
    Either way it should be an interesting experiment with multiple Nikon SLR’s for quick sequences or stereoscopic photos.

  3. Oddly enough, I might be on a research project soon that is building a super-fast camera shutter that can respond and operate on the millisecond timescale. If only it were available right now instead of in the planning phase.

  4. what i was getting at is that you dont have to close the shutter… you keep it open in a super dark room and use the flash as the only point of exposure for the camera… so for example, if you have the shutter open for 5 seconds but the flash only outputs light for 1/10th of a second, then you will get a picture of what is going on at that time. basically you create a strobe light for one picture… the results can be quite impressive.,mit

  5. Chris, I’ve actually done that before, but not with things as high speed as bullets. Wouldn’t the muzzle flash also be a ‘trigger’ of sorts? It can be relatively bright…

  6. Chris: I’ve seen those pictures, and they’re pretty awesome.
    I know plama in real life, and the project he’s working on is involving a high-speed shutter for optical astronomy. They’re using an adaptive optics system to “smooth out” the distortions in the earth’s atmosphere to get better images of astronomical bodies.
    However, the AO’s not perfect, and there’s often times a lot of blurring, so leaving the shutter open all the time isn’t really viable (it’d smear out their image). Thus, they leave the shutter closed, then open it when the system indicates that it’s not blurry, then close it before things blur. They repeat this for some very long-term exposures (the light from distant stars is very dim) and get — or so they hope; the system isn’t yet built — much clearer pictures than they were able to get before.

  7. Oh, my friend, this system will kick ASS. near 100% strehl at 10 microns and for the first time EVER optical AO. That’s what the shutter is for, since the strehl fluctuates a lot at visible wavelengths. Basically we’re picking the good times and throwing out the bad.

  8. Oh yeah, I’ve done that before actually with other fast events other than guns that is. I’m just trying to photograph shells being ejected and bolts cycling which can be done with just a mechanical shutter. I don’t have an appropriate flash for doing that sort of photography anyway.
    For this experiment I’m mainly interested in fast sequences of one event with multiple cameras.

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