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Weekly assignment 306: Overhead
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Archive 2006 · #223: Fragments of Light
  
 
Wilson-
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p.1 #1 · #223: Fragments of Light


Greetings Viewers!

Wow, it's hard to break lightbulbs... I've always wanted to try this and it was quite fun. I hope you enjoy my entry for this week.









Sep 30, 2006 at 04:46 AM
canandaigua ph
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p.1 #2 · #223: Fragments of Light


Wilson......fantastic shot.....the shards are amazing! I love the large chunk cleaving off to the right side. Can you share your technique for achieving the image?
thanks for sharing
Peter



Sep 30, 2006 at 05:49 AM
bouchto
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p.1 #3 · #223: Fragments of Light


Wilson
Great shot and timing. It makes me feel like I should close my eyes so that I don't get glass in them. Can you share your story with us on how you took the shot and some of your settings?
Great entry and best of luck,
Tom



Sep 30, 2006 at 11:53 AM
Dannett
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p.1 #4 · #223: Fragments of Light


Awesome shot Wilson.

Daniel



Sep 30, 2006 at 12:47 PM
Evren
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p.1 #5 · #223: Fragments of Light


Amazing shot Wilson. I would need lots of candles to spend the night after a trial for such a shot

Evren



Sep 30, 2006 at 09:41 PM
Wilson-
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p.1 #6 · #223: Fragments of Light


canandaigua ph wrote:
Wilson......fantastic shot.....the shards are amazing! I love the large chunk cleaving off to the right side. Can you share your technique for achieving the image?
thanks for sharing
Peter


Thanks Peter, I'm glad you liked it. I chose this picture, of the 8 I took, for the same reason - the large chunk on the right side. When the kids go to bed I'll take some pictures of my crude setup and post the procedure I used. I took me about 3 hours to get all setup and bust 8 light bulbs. It was very fun. I will say it was amusing at times because the darn bulb wouldn't bust..



Sep 30, 2006 at 11:08 PM
Wilson-
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p.1 #7 · #223: Fragments of Light


bouchto wrote:
Wilson
Great shot and timing. It makes me feel like I should close my eyes so that I don't get glass in them. Can you share your story with us on how you took the shot and some of your settings?
Great entry and best of luck,
Tom


Hey Tom, thanks for stopping by. I did wear safety glasses and even caught myself squinting as I applied the final blow. This should only be attempted by professionals... ( Yeah, right!). I plan on a full disclosure of the set-up and technique I used. That's why we're all here, right? Glad you liked the shot!



Sep 30, 2006 at 11:12 PM
Wilson-
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p.1 #8 · #223: Fragments of Light


Dannett wrote:
Awesome shot Wilson.

Daniel


Thanks Daniel, glad you liked it. Good Luck with your entry this week too.




Sep 30, 2006 at 11:14 PM
Wilson-
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p.1 #9 · #223: Fragments of Light


Evren wrote:
Amazing shot Wilson. I would need lots of candles to spend the night after a trial for such a shot

Evren


Hi Evren, thanks for the nice comments. I was under a lot of pressure and near my breaking point to get a decent shot within 8 bulbs. I think my wife was worried about me breaking all the bulbs in the house too... She didn't have much confidence in me. After the tungsten filament bulb, I was curious about a flourescent bulb. Maybe when the family is all in bed I'll steal some flourescent bulbs from the kitchen ceiling.



Sep 30, 2006 at 11:20 PM
jimiwheels
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p.1 #10 · #223: Fragments of Light


Wilson, that shot is great. I look forward to the picture of the setup.


Oct 01, 2006 at 01:59 AM
 

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Wilson-
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p.1 #11 · #223: Fragments of Light


okay, the kids are in bed and now I can play. First, here is a general overview of the set-up



The hardware cost $6.16 at the hardware store and includes
1 - 3/16"X3' steel rod
1pkg - screw eye (approx 5/16")
8 light bulbs

Stuff around the house -
2x4 pieces to insert the screw eyes
5/16" stop collar
electrical tape
old sync cord
alligator clip
some hand clamps to temporary construction

Okay, as you can see from the picture the two screw eyes are guides for the steel rod. This provides the bulb smashing action. The stop collar will set the distance and also provide an electrical connection to fire the flash. You'll need to strip an old sync cord or buy one cheap on ebay and strip the end you wont connect to the flash. Strip the insulation off each of the two leads and expose the bare copper wires. The flash will fire by simply making the two wires touch. Here is the quick way I made the flash fire.



I used electrical tape to insulate the screw eye so that when I connected the alligator clip the flash didn't fire. By insulating the screw eye the electrical connection is made when the stop collar hits the top of the alligator clip and then the flash goes off.

After the set-up is constructed here is how I got the shot. I placed the lightbulb in the box lined with a garbage bag and made the steel rod touch the light bulb. Now set the stop collar approximately 1/4" to 1" above the screw eye. If you think about it, the distant of the stop collar above the alligator clip is the time delay till the flash fires. I found that 1/4" was too fast and about 1/2" was good for getting the picture like I posted. I used a 70-200mm at 200mm at f4 for 4 seconds with timer mode. I also used manual focus. The external flash was about 1.5 feet away from the bulb and set to manual at 1/128th power. The sync cord was attached to this flash and the other end is on the stop collar and alligator clip. I hit the shutter on the camera, waited for the shutter to open, and then within the 4 second shuttertime quicky pushed the rod down until it broke the bulb and the stop collar contacted the alligator clip which fired the flash. And presto you've seen the result. The big variables were getting the bulb to stay in place and the larger the end of the steel rod the better shatter effect from the bulb. I actually taped a large bolt to the end of the steel rod to have a larger surface area to smash the bulb. This is a fun variable to play with.

I wrote this up quickly, but I hope it makes sense. If not send me a message and I'll try and explain in more detail.



Oct 01, 2006 at 02:07 AM
h110hawk
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p.1 #12 · #223: Fragments of Light


Thats really an awsome setup! Great thinking on using a dark room + a way to trip the flash.

One thing to remember about fluorescent bulbs and their ilk, there is a very small but non-zero amount of mercury vapor in them. Open a window and turn on a large slow moving fan if you plan on breaking a bunch. :)



Oct 01, 2006 at 06:04 AM
ESC in KC
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p.1 #13 · #223: Fragments of Light


Very interesting shot Wilson and great for the topic. I always thought a light bulb would implode when broken due to the internal vacuum, but this appears to be exploding. Maybe due to the way you broke it?

Nice job!

Ed



Oct 01, 2006 at 12:47 PM
Wilson-
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p.1 #14 · #223: Fragments of Light


h110hawk wrote:
Thats really an awsome setup! Great thinking on using a dark room + a way to trip the flash.

One thing to remember about fluorescent bulbs and their ilk, there is a very small but non-zero amount of mercury vapor in them. Open a window and turn on a large slow moving fan if you plan on breaking a bunch.


Thanks for the mercury health tip, I didn't realize that! Not sure the setup would constitute awesome, but it was effective. Thanks for the words of encouragement and the warning.



Oct 01, 2006 at 02:21 PM
Wilson-
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p.1 #15 · #223: Fragments of Light


ESC in KC wrote:
Very interesting shot Wilson and great for the topic. I always thought a light bulb would implode when broken due to the internal vacuum, but this appears to be exploding. Maybe due to the way you broke it?

Nice job!

Ed


Hi Ed, I think you are right on the imploding part. When I used a short time delay there was an entry hole and you could see the cracks starting to form. At that time very little debris was moving outward. For the WA I used a 1/2" striker on the top of the bulb which likely helped to force shards outward.... plus the delay was long enough that the vacuum had been released. Thanks for you comments and interest. If you'd like to see the short timed shot I'll post that too.




Oct 01, 2006 at 02:26 PM
h110hawk
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p.1 #16 · #223: Fragments of Light


Wilson- wrote:
If you'd like to see the short timed shot I'll post that too.


I know I would like to see one, if you don't mind.

What makes your setup "awsome" is you took a bunch of raw materials and built something custom and unique. People demonstrating ingenuity can't be seen enough in my opinion. What I don't quite understand is how you don't see your breaking rod in the shots? Do you slam it down and back up before the flash pops?



Oct 01, 2006 at 04:16 PM
Wilson-
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p.1 #17 · #223: Fragments of Light


h110hawk wrote:
I know I would like to see one, if you don't mind.

What makes your setup "awsome" is you took a bunch of raw materials and built something custom and unique. People demonstrating ingenuity can't be seen enough in my opinion. What I don't quite understand is how you don't see your breaking rod in the shots? Do you slam it down and back up before the flash pops?


Thanks, I do like building things and working with my hands. I think that's what ultimately made my career choice to be an engineer. ha ha. This was pretty crude so I was a little leary of showing it.. Anyhow, I appreciate your commenta and agree.
Okay, you caught me in a little trick... I did do a little photoshop cloning to remove the rod. In this picture you'll see a short time delay and can acutally see the rod and the bolt I've tapped to the end... it's blue. This is pretty much out of the camera with a little portrait crop.

I thought this looked pretty darn cool, but not cool enough for the WA. So hope you enjoy this one too.




Oct 01, 2006 at 04:42 PM
Daniel Bates
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p.1 #18 · #223: Fragments of Light


That's inspiration, right there.

Good job! I think I see a finalist!



Oct 02, 2006 at 02:25 AM
ironabike
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p.1 #19 · #223: Fragments of Light


I am not believing that you put this all together!! Man!! Nice work--and looks like it was fun too. I don't think I can add anything to what everyone else has said. Just add another WOW.
Jane



Oct 02, 2006 at 02:44 AM
cennerfelt
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p.1 #20 · #223: Fragments of Light


Great shot Wilson, This is one shot I would love to try this someday. You have done it well.
Christian




Oct 02, 2006 at 02:56 AM
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