“Photo grandpa” builds mother of all homebrew laser triggers

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

2399 Articles

By Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

2399 Articles

Article Featured Image
fotoopa_in_action.jpg
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fotoopa_water-figure.jpg

A reader who saw Marc’s recent post about an Arduino-controlled laser photo trigger wrote in to tell us about the amazing work of Belgian photographer and Flickr user fotoopa (which, we hear, as “foto opa,” means something like “photo grandpa” in Dutch). That’s him in the picture above, with the awesome homebrew laser-triggered camera rig that he uses to capture amazing pictures of insects in flight and splashing drops of colored water. I’m generally skeptical of film purists, but fotoopa makes the compelling claim that no digital camera has the shutter speed necessary to do this kind of imagery. He claims the Compur #1 shutter used in his 2008 setup has a speed of less than 5 milliseconds. Technical details about his 2009 setup are available here. [Thanks, Wilco Schillemans!]

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