For most of us the whole idea of water balloons is nothing more than being fun weapons used to soak unsuspecting people but for Edward Horsford there is much more to them especially when combined with high-speed photography.
These images are moments in time caught forever but as Edward said in an email to Mito Habe-Evans of the NPR blog the camera is the least important part.
“My camera is really the least important part of the shots,”Horsford writes in an e-mail. The trick seems to be in the timing of the flash. He sets a timer on his camera to take a long exposure of 1 to 2 seconds, and if the flash fires within that time, he gets an image. He uses a special gizmo with a microphone that triggers the flashes when it picks up a certain level of sound (i.e., the pop of a balloon). For a more technical explanation, take a look at this article at DIY Photography.
Horsford usually uses a pin to poke the latex, and performs a variety of acrobatics to get everything in the right position without blocking the light or getting in the photo himself. And afterward? He writes, “I’m absolutely soaked and temporarily blinded!”
Here is just a small sample of Edward’s incredible work from his Flickr stream, which is well worth taking the time to go and visit.