Sunday, February 8, 2009

Popping a balloon

This is one of my favorite images and like most science images it has a story behind it. This image was taken during an assignment for a British science magazine. The magazine requested a young girl popping a balloon and needed to show the human reflex of closing your eyes near a loud noise. I used my then 7 year old daughter for the shoot. After it was over my assistant Roger was playing around with over-inflating a balloon until it burst. This does take a good set of lungs. After a few test shots we were able to get this shot. Balloons do not always burst like this, but this one in particular turned out nice. The balloon had a teaspoon of water placed inside of it. The water is in the gas phase when the balloon is inflated, but when the balloon pops, there is a sudden drop in pressure that creates a cloud. The resulting cloud lasts less than 1/1,000th of a second. The action was captured by a high speed flash that had a duration of 1/20,000th of a second. Many interesting science photos are taken by messing around in the high speed photo

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