Amazing photo made at the range today.


September 12, 2003, 06:44 PM
Check out the photo below. Is that object in the middle of the photo what I think it is????

I was very suprised to see this photo. It was not done on purpose, just happened.... By the way, that is me with my new Glock 30 which ran perfectly.

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September 12, 2003, 06:47 PM
it sure looks like the bullet! Very cool!


September 12, 2003, 06:56 PM
I wonder how many pictures it would take to do that if you had been trying?

September 12, 2003, 07:03 PM
Keen catch !


September 12, 2003, 07:06 PM
I don't think that's the bullet. You'd have to have about 1/4000 sec shutter speed or better to create a pic like that. Unfortunately most flashes do not synchronize with more than 1/250 shutter speed. Second, if that was the bullet there would have to be some sort of muzzle flash in the picture. And third, if it was the bullet it would be way off target to the left. The pic sure looks cool, but honestly i think it's just a refection of some sort of something that is behind the target.

September 12, 2003, 07:07 PM
Cool pic, that is a keeper.

September 12, 2003, 07:07 PM
Uhhh.......lemme see ya do that again.:D

Jesse H
September 12, 2003, 07:08 PM
I have a hard enough time getting the timing right so the slide is cycling and the brass is in the air.

September 12, 2003, 07:09 PM
If you caught a bullet with a typical camera it would likely appear as a streak.

September 12, 2003, 07:10 PM
I have about 20 - 30 other photos made at the same angle at the same time within a period of 30 minutes. None of the other photos have anything resembling a bullet.

I am not a photo expert, and I really don't care what it is (or is not) but I don't know what else it could be....

September 12, 2003, 07:13 PM
It can't be the's moving too fast. I'm guessing a digital camera and a burned out pixel...But it does look neat. :D

September 12, 2003, 07:23 PM
Here's a real bullet pic (of a slighly different caliber).

September 12, 2003, 07:25 PM
that is a cool picture. I believe it is the bullet. You're shooting a big fat slow 45, are you shooting a totally copper clad bullet? You know your velocity?
I've seen bullets going downrange so often out of 45s and 9s, mostly when they are traveling through bright sunshine, as they reflect the light. First time I saw it i was amazed, the guy was shooting Sellior and Belloits, maybe they are a little on the slow side.
Since then, it's nearly a weakly occurance to see when I'm shooting competitions, so I completely believe you could potentially catch this on film from the right angle under perfect conditions, with a bunch of luck.
I'm also going to guess you did hit the target because the angle the photo was taken makes it appear the bullet is way off to the left, much like the slightly offset centerfield cameras make some pitches look off the plate when they're in fact over it.
I see your gun is cycling and there is the little puff of smoke exiting the barrel, nice photo. I bet the poorly lit conditions of that range are working perfectly for you as the bullet just passed through one of the few lit points on that range. Nice job.
And I think whoever is shooting to the right of you needs more practice.

September 12, 2003, 07:27 PM
I would say that that is the flash reflecting of the base of the bullet. That is what appears to freeze the bullet in flight even though it is not high-speed photography.

September 12, 2003, 07:33 PM
Caught the bullet but NO muzzle flash?

September 12, 2003, 07:44 PM
I can't see the slide distintly, but the pistol seems to be in full recoil, that is, slide at the rear.
If the slide is open, the brass is out of the chamber. The muzzle flash is gone. It would seem to an onlooker the flash is still there, but only because the eye holds the image for an instant.

The "little shining thingie" is in about the right place for the base of the bullet.

Good picture by any account. Getting the pistol in full recoil is neat as it is. Getting what seems to be the bullet is really neat.

September 12, 2003, 07:54 PM
Cool pic. Dunno if that's the bullet, but sure looks like it. Sometimes, you can catch a glimpse of the base of .45ACP bullets travelling downrange because they move so slow (relatively).

September 12, 2003, 07:55 PM
What camera was used?

September 12, 2003, 08:05 PM
:cool: I'd love to have a pic like that.

Mal H
September 12, 2003, 08:06 PM
Cool! That could well be the bullet. If it was something in the background near the target area reflecting the flash, I think the targets would also be a little brighter. At that particular angle to the bullet's line of flight the base would be a little sharper than if it were taken perpendicular to the line of flight. The bullet would be blurred in the latter case.

4v50 Gary
September 12, 2003, 08:12 PM
Nahh, terrific photo! It is an amazing photo.

Ed Brunner
September 12, 2003, 08:26 PM
I agree with you. It certainly could happen that way. The comments on shutter speed and bullet speed could be true for a side view.

September 12, 2003, 08:27 PM
In this level of ambient light, the shutter speed that syncs with the flash isn't as relevant as the duration of the flash itself. In effect, the shutter is fully open and the flash provides the light for the exposure. The effective shutter speed is thus a lot faster than 1/250th of a second that syncs with the flash.

Double Naught Spy
September 12, 2003, 08:51 PM
Not the bullet. Sorry.

When the gun fires, first you get ignition followed by the bullet leaving the barrel very quickly. That is then followed by the muzzle flash. With muzzle flash is when the shooter really is impacted as the action starts to cycle and the recoil/muzzle rise occurs.

Muzzle flash, recoil, and the cycled slide have all been mentioned. Something is terribly wrong if the bullet has only traveled that far by the time the muzzle flash has completely gone away, the gun is in mid cycle, and well into recoil. Where is the spent case? It may be out of the frame, but you get the idea.

Why is the supposed bullet so bright when the flash seems to have trouble reaching down range?

If that is an object from the gun, then likely it is something like a glowing powder fleck. Note that there is a second small but illuminated object that is directly down range from the muzzle in the current position. Is that another bullet? Nope. It is just more crap in the air, ejecta from the cartridge, most likely.

You can catch projectiles in the air, but it would not be likely to do so in low light using a puny flash, and to get a perfectly still-looking frozen projectile shot like that.

Indoor shooting environments are full of airborne particulates, ejecta from the discharged rounds. Thing may drift in and out of camera/flash range without you ever being aware of it.

September 12, 2003, 09:08 PM
Dont know if its a bullet or not but looks like the roof is bout to come down on ya.;)

cracked butt
September 12, 2003, 09:21 PM
Looks like a bullet to me!

At the outdoor range I shoot at, when the sun is in the right position and its a clear day, you can actually see rifle bullets flying downrange through your scope or a spotting scope once they get out past 150 yards. When the conditions are Ideal, I shoot my scoped .22 from the bench at a target at 200 yards- you see a sliver appear in the air and suddenly start to really dive for the ground at 150 yards- If you zero it for 200 yards you can actually see where the bullet is hitting the target even though the scope is only has 6x magnification.

September 12, 2003, 09:31 PM
I'd LIKE to tell you it's a bullet, and a cool shot nonetheless, but it ain't.:(

September 12, 2003, 09:44 PM
That is AWESOME!!! :D

Anybody here with some knowledge of film speed that could confirm for us that it is in fact a bullet? Was that a digital camera by any chance?

Looking at it a second time it kind of looks like a light or reflection though :(

Double Naught Spy
September 12, 2003, 09:51 PM
And if it really is the bullet, can you then explain how it is that the bullet has only managed to travel a few feet in the amount of time it has taken the gun to fully discharge the muzzle flash and then be in recoil and mid cycle?

Yes, you can see bullets traveling down range in the daylight if you are standing behind the shooter. The more you move off the shooting plane, the less likely you are to be able to see it. Those observations are usually in daylight conditions where the bullet is more than adequately illuminated. That is not the case in this image.

September 12, 2003, 09:54 PM
I've noticed with Winchester BEB's (brass enclosed base) in .45 and sometimes .40 you can actually see the back of the bullet as it goes down range if you stand right behind the shooter on an indoor range and watch closely. Were you using BEB's by any chance?

September 12, 2003, 10:37 PM
it looks like a bullet base reflection about half way down range

September 12, 2003, 11:02 PM
Yes, you can see bullets traveling down range in the daylight if you are standing behind the shooter.

One time I swear I saw a 165gr. Remington Core Lokt .357 going downrange. One I had shot myself. I dunno, I must have looked right, but I swear I saw it fly downrange and hit the snow. The sunlight was pretty good. I tried again to watch and couldn't see it again :confused: Maybe it was a squibish load? Recoil felt normal though.

September 12, 2003, 11:17 PM
Yes, I think it is the bullet. A fortunate shot.

the dominant light source in the shot is the flash. the camera shutter speed is sorta irrelevant.

You don't mention the brand of camera, but your owner manual may tell you the flash duration. IIRC 1/10,000 of a second is a typical value for a flash duration. If we use 1000 feet per second as the bullet velocity, the bullet could be "frozen" within .1 feet, or 1.2 inches during the flash duration. Given the camera angle, the bullet should light up and be be only slightly blurred.

Oleg and other folks may have more experience with flash settings, but I am convinced it is a bullet. The folks who actually set out to freeze a bullet use electronic triggers to catch the shot.

September 12, 2003, 11:20 PM
I'm talking film speed. If the exposure isn't fast enough you'd never see a bullet, most likely nothing at all, not even a blur. However it sounds like he used a digital camera.

September 12, 2003, 11:28 PM
Why is the supposed bullet so bright when the flash seems to have trouble reaching down range?

I think camera flashes only travel 10-12 feet. The flash would never make it downrange before it dispersed.

September 12, 2003, 11:30 PM
The camera is a brand new Fujifilm digital camera. It is not my camera, and I don't know the model number, but it isn't a basic model as it has alot of buttons and gadgets on it....

The ammo used today is Winchester Whitebox from Wal Mart.

Double Naught Spy
September 12, 2003, 11:34 PM
To see your own shot going down range in many cases, you have to be looking over the top of your gun. Otherwise, much or most of the travel distance will be blocked from view, blocked by the gun itself. You gotta figure that the sights are higher than the barrel, even by just a bit for most handguns. If the bullet were to strike the target as aimed and with the gun sighted in traditionally, then the bullet should impact just above the sight radius to being completely above, but just barely. In other words, to be seen, the bullet has to come up in elevation relative to the sights. So that part of the distance where the bullet has not broken the sight plane will be distance where the bullet won't be seen.

In some cases, sights well above the barrel will increase the chance of spotting the bullet as the higher position means more of the bullet's trajectory will be visible.

What makes bullets visible to the shooter or someone right behind the shooter, say looking over the shooter's shoulder, it that the bullet will appear almost stationary in that there is little change in the position of the bullet vertically or horizontally. The further one moves away from the shooter, the more apparent movement will be visible and the velocity being apparent. Further off to the side and the bullet won't be visible.

gun-fucious, how might it be determined that the object is the bullet with the reflection off the base? How could it be determined that it wasn't something else like a pixel glitch (assuming digital camera used or an actual photograph that was scanned into the computer?

One critical piece of information that migh help resolve the issue is to know what sort of ammo was being use. If the round is unjacketed lead, FMJ with an open lead base, the the dull grey of the lead is not going to be all that reflective and hence would not be all that visible. If the round was TMJ, then the base would have been of a more a reflective metal such as would be the case since the base would be covered by copper.

September 12, 2003, 11:39 PM
I was amazed the first time I was shooting and was actually able to see some bullets travel downrange, as they were shot by my partner. It was a .45, so probably doing <850fps, and as I recall they were put downrange by...Double Naught Spy! If I remember correctly, a couple even hit the target! :neener: geegee

September 12, 2003, 11:53 PM
Maybe the new Fuji digital cameras have....

matrix metering!


September 13, 2003, 12:00 AM
Not a bullet.

As mentioned before if it were a bullet you would see muzzle flash and the gun wouldn't have recoiled as far as it has in the pic.

Probably a spec of burning powder or a film artifact.

BTW, seeing bullets in flight is fairly common. We had a 50 yard handgun event at the club and in the bright sunlight it was quite easy to see the autopistol bullets if you were standing behind the shooter and watching the target with binocs. Several guys had binocs and most were able to see the bullets at least some of the time.

Bullets from the magnum revolver loads were going too fast to see.

September 13, 2003, 12:03 AM
You'd have to have about 1/4000 sec shutter speed or better to create a pic like that. Unfortunately most flashes do not synchronize with more than 1/250 shutter speed.

No disrespect HD, but I disagree with both of the above statements. Many flashes on current camers sync much faster. In this case I believe that 1/4000 wouldn't be necessary because the bullet is traveling along roughly the same pl;ane as the lens. If it was at 90deg the a mega high shutter speed would be needed. If I were trying to get that shot I would use bulb and "paint" with my flash.

I think it might be a reflection from the base of the bullet.

September 13, 2003, 12:05 AM
Bwhahahahaha:D :D :D


THAT's funny. You must be a camera geek too.

Ala Dan
September 13, 2003, 12:14 AM
What would be cool, is if the bullet bounced back and
the shooter caught it with his teeth!:D :D :D

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

September 13, 2003, 12:53 AM
IMO, I think it could very well be the bullet. Having seen .22s go down range indoors and out, I think there is a good possibility it is. You could always try to duplicate the phenomenon to confirm.

September 13, 2003, 01:17 AM
It can't be the bullet. If it was, the light would be red-shifted! :D

Mike Irwin
September 13, 2003, 01:36 AM

Possible, but I'm doubtful.

Muzzle flash?

Don't necessarily have to have a muzzle flash. Some powders have muzzle flashes that are slow low that the flash itself could have washed it out.

September 13, 2003, 01:51 AM
I will give my professional opinion as a photographer here.

As several people have mentioned, most cameras sync with flashes below 1/250th of a second, and most P&S cameras sync much lower than that, closer to 1/60 or 1/90th of a second.

However, as any photographer can tell you, shutter speed has almost nothing to do with flash photography, except to control the amount of ambient light.

The power of the flash and the apature of the lens are what control how much light gets to the film plane/sensor. Since most flashes fire much faster than the mechanical shutter of a camera, often about 1/1000th of a second or even much faster, they actually act as the shutter during a flashed exposure.

Think of it this way.

Situation A

Pitch black room, absolutly no light, EV-0, subject 10' from the flash, flash set to fire and provide a metered exposure of f 5.6 @ ISO 100. When the flash fires, it will illuminate the subject at an exposure of f 5.6 @ ISO 100. It doesn't matter what the shutter speed is, as long as it is slower than the Max Sync speed (which is the fastest that the actual shutter can operate while allowing the flash to illumate the entire film plane/sensor evenly). The photo will look the same whether you use 1/125th of a second, or 1/30th of a second, since the flash is firing at a much faster speed, and that is the only illumination.

Ofcourse that rarely happens. So here is situation B

A room with an ambient exposure of 1/60th of a second, f 4.0, @ ISO 100, subject ten feet from the flash. The flash exposure is f 5.6 @ ISO 100 (remember shutter speed only controls the ambient light when using flash). So lets set the camera using 1/60th of a second, with f 5.6 (our metered flash exposure), @ ISO 100. Our ambient light will be 1 stop darker (50% less light) than our flash exposure. Now for fun, let's set the camera to 1/125th of a second, and now our ambient light is 2 stops darker than our flash exposure. Our flash exposure will stay the same no matter what though.

That being said, i still doubt that a P&S camera would have a flash powerfull enough and quick enough to "freeze" the bullet. Is this a P&S camera? I have no idea, since the EXIF data is not there. Therefore, i cant tell any camera settings, including flash settings.

BUT, considering the angle, it wouldn't necessarly have to "freeze" the bullet, since the bullet is flying almost directly away from the camera. It would just have to illuminate the base enough to reflect enough light to show up on camera. It does appear that the might be a little blur, but its hard to tell.

Whether this is the case or not, i can't tell, since the photo looks to have been down rezed, and compressed fairly heavily. It would be intresting to look at the raw image and see what it shows.

So i would say that based on photographic evidence, it is inconclusive based on what we see here.

So why the long post?

Just a little photography lesson for you out there regarding flash exposure. :neener:


Matt G
September 13, 2003, 01:53 AM
Having seen a LOT of bullets in flight, I'm willing to believe it.

First off, the angle is very slight. Thus the bullet is not moving very much in relation to the camera. Second, the flash is much cluser to the bullet than to any other bright shiny thing. If the walls and ceiling are painted black, as they usually are, the flash will have little else to reflect off of, and the bullet will have a high contrast background to be seen against.

The angle is almost the perfect one to see handgun bullets in flight. I find that I see them the most from the 5 or 7 o'clock position from the shooter, with a dark background beyond the path of the bullet, and especially if the sun is behind me at a high angle.

The flash would have likely obscurred a lot of the muzzle flash, just as the sun does when you shoot during broad daylight. Also, depending on the speed of the powder and load, some full-size pistols can pretty efficiently burn up a powder charge.

Agreed that the real "shutter speed" is the overlap time of the camera speed and the flash.

Fun stuff. :)

September 13, 2003, 02:38 AM
I dont know about the G30 or how long the barrel is, but .45 ACP is pretty much the lowest or one of the lowest flashing calibers there is.

I saw a comparison in a magazine some time ago and they found that some .45 loads had virtually no flash IIRC.

I vote bullet.

50 Freak
September 13, 2003, 03:06 AM
yep its the bullet.

the 45 is a pretty slow moving bullet. I've on numerous times seen 45 bullets traveling downrange. Actually the light reflecting off the lead base of the bullets makes it easy to follow the bullet to its target.

September 13, 2003, 03:41 AM
You sure it's not not Gray Davis' career? It's moving slow & looks like it'll miss the bullseye to me.


Mal H
September 13, 2003, 09:29 AM
To expand a bit on what itgoesboom and others have mentioned about flash photography, many modern flash units, including built-in units, will adjust the flash output by using a light detector in a feedback loop. They adjust the output by varying the length of flash anywhere from 1/1000th sec. (slowest & most flash) to as fast as 1/50,000th sec. Since in the photo in question the flash would have been in the shorter range since it is overpowered by the white shirt in the foreground. The flash would have fired for a shorter time than if the shooter had not been in the picture. I would estimate the flash could be anywhere from 1/2,000th to 1/5,000 of a second - fast enough to stop a plodding .45 in its tracks especially at the angle of the line of flight. That is assuming the unit is a variable flash unit, which wouldn't be at all unusual.

Nathaniel Firethorn
September 13, 2003, 09:38 AM
Time to do some rough math. Everything is rounded to two digits.

The object is about halfway downrange. It looks like the target is at about 50 feet, so let's assume that the object is 25 feet away from the shooter. Assuming it's the bullet and that it's moving at 900 ft/sec, that would mean that the picture was taken about 28 milliseconds after ignition.

The shooter's hand has recoiled about 6 inches in that time. Compute the acceleration on his hand needed to make this happen. Since d = 1/2 a t^2, a = 2d/(t^2) = 2 * 0.5 ft / ((0.028 sec) ^ 2) = 1300 ft/sec^2. About 40 gees.

Now velocity of his hand: v = at = 1300 ft/sec^2 * 0.028 sec = 36 ft/sec or 24 mph. Relatively gentle, though I'd want it to slow down in a hurry! (This is simplistic because the shooter is going to be decelerating his hand.)

Energy now: Let's say that the shooter's hand plus gun weigh about five pounds. Its mass is then 5 pounds / g = 5 pounds / 32 ft/sec^2 = 0.16 slugs.

On to energy: e = 1/2 m v^2 = 1/2 * (36 ft/sec)^2 * 0.16 slugs = 100 foot-pounds. Well within what a .45 can produce, if I remember correctly.

So the physics, at this point, doesn't rule out the possibility that it's the bullet.

Feel free to poke all the holes you want; I'm rusty at this.

- pdmoderator

Double Naught Spy
September 13, 2003, 09:43 AM
Pendragon, how did you determine the round to be a .45 as Lightsped has not provided us with that information?

How do you figure that .45 acp is one of the lowest flashing calibers? It isn't the caliber that determines the flash, but things like the amount, and speed of the powder, barrel length, etc.

Here is a picture of one of those low flashing .45 types of Ammo, Aguila. The image was taken at dusk with an Olympus 2.1 megapixel digital camera and flash. The image was captured using a timer while the shooter what losing whole magazines of ammo.

Mal H
September 13, 2003, 10:02 AM
He said he was using a Glock 30, so he did, in essence, tell us what caliber it was. But I sure wish he would come back and give us some camera/ammo/distance info as well.

BTW, did the shooter ever find his magazines?

Nando Aqui
September 13, 2003, 10:05 AM
Actually, Double Naught Spy just beat me to it. What caught my attention was the 'beam' that looks like it's about to drop off. I thought about the white dot being the bullet, but dismissed that notion completely until I read the other comments.

I have done quite a bit of high speed photography to catch manufacturing equipment and other machinery 'in the act', such as when a centrifugal switch of an electric motor actually operates, and I can say that unless the shutter speed if extremely fast, the bullet would look like a blurr at best.

If the bullet is traveling at 1000 FPS (approximately, to make things easier), it would take it 1/1000 sec to travel one foot. If the shutter speed were 1/1000 (pretty fast) the bullet would appear as a streak about one foot long, which is how far it would have traveled while the shutter was open.

To appear as a dot, say about 1/2" long, the shutter would have to stay open for the length of time the bullet would take to travel the 1/2". Since there are 24 half-inches in a foot, the shutter speed would have to be 1/24000. Make sense?

My 2¢


September 13, 2003, 10:07 AM
the first post said it was a Glock 30 ergo .45

Anyone one else want to calculcate how far a .45 slug travels at 1000 fps
for the camera flash's 1/1000ths of a second duration?

Occam's razor says its a bullet

Double Naught Spy
September 13, 2003, 10:08 AM
Mal H and Pendragon, I stand completely corrected on the .45 issue. Cany you tell I don't do Glocks? Sorry.

Mal H
September 13, 2003, 10:09 AM
Alex, in general, shutter speed means zip in flash photography as long as it overlaps the flash and the flash is the main source of light (e.g., not fill-in flash).

September 13, 2003, 10:10 AM
we orbit similar spheres here

as the bullet is more or less moving directly away from the camera

the bullet would not render as a streak
but as a dot

Double Naught Spy
September 13, 2003, 10:34 AM
Just curious, how come the flash managed to stop the bullet that was traveling at 800+ fps and yet the shooter's right hand shows a streak effect on the left side when the hand wasn't traveling at several hundred feet per second? I find it odd that the supposed bullet is so perfectly preserved by that the hand was not.

Mal H
September 13, 2003, 11:02 AM
Uh, oh! You're starting to repeat yourself. :D

I'm not sure what you mean by the streak on the hand. His right hand looks well focused and not blurred in the least. I assume all parts of the hand(s) and gun are moving at roughly the same speed yet they look like they are still due to the flash duration.

Nando Aqui
September 13, 2003, 12:37 PM
Mal H & gun-fucious

(1) Correct - this would be under regular lighting condition; not flash.

(2) Yes, what I said applies only to the camera at right angle to the bullet path, which is not the case here, obviously.

But even if the camera were about two feet from the bullet path, that 'dot' would start out as a streak, and become more of a dot as it traveled down range. The closer the bullet is to the target when the image is taken, the shorter the streak, but also the smaller the image.

The bullet image would be all 'dot' and no streak if the camera were mounted right on the pistol. Then, if the target were 25 yards away, the camera would theoretically have (25yd x 3ft/yd)/1000fps = .075 seconds to capture the bullet as a speeding 'dot'.

Oh well.... enough of this for now...

Nice picture anyway -


Double Naught Spy
September 13, 2003, 01:12 PM
Look to the left side of the right hand and you will see a streak or ghost outline mimicking the left side. Even if argued that the blurred area is the left hand, it should be in focus as objects closer and object further from the camera are in focus. See graphic...

Pappy John
September 13, 2003, 01:34 PM
Okay, so lighting conditions on most indoor ranges consist of the shooting station being lit and the target being lit.....all else unlit. So the hands are not flash dependent for exposure since the shooter's station is lit by house lighting, while the bullet, being half way to target is only lit during flash duration. Sooooo....... the hands could show motion while the bullet is frozen by the flash.
To me, thats a bullet. I've seen them in flight often enough on the range that I think you might have to be lucky to catch one on film like this, but its not all that suprising to see it caught by a flash. Especially them big ol' slow .45's

Matt G
September 13, 2003, 02:00 PM
If it's a standard 230g load, the MV out of a short G30 barrel would be well under 800 fps. So call the velocity of the bullet in flight at the time of the picture 750 fps, rather than 1000 fps. Sounds like it's splitting hairs, I know, but that 25% reduction in velocity is important.

September 13, 2003, 02:11 PM
If you brighten the picture in photoshop a distinct black outline appears around the dot. Don't know what it is or what it means but its there.

September 13, 2003, 02:16 PM
OK; I can be flexible.
Despite my earlier and still leaning doubt, I'll opine it is POSSIBLE.
'Specially after that "photoshop" wizadry. Not convinced yet, though.:confused:

September 13, 2003, 02:21 PM
digital camera tend to halo high contrast objects and introduce noise

We have noticed that whenever you shoot fields of long grass, there is noise where the stalks cross

film don't do that

September 13, 2003, 02:47 PM
I think it is the bullet. As for the flash? Look at the pic and you can see some pixilation around the end of the barrel. It looks, to me, that you are getting the last bit of flash. Look at the contrast with the wall. What the hell am I trying to say? I don’t know.

September 13, 2003, 03:49 PM
Light, shooting at Ed's I take it? Lemme know if you want some company next time you head over there. I shoot there every now and then.
Also, glad to see you picked up a pistol - now you can live up to the rules of the city...:cool:

September 13, 2003, 05:36 PM
It would appear the pic was taken during a string of
shots or maybe a double. Could those be casings?
Contrast and brightness enhanced, then inverted the colors.
The bright spot looks like the primer and zoomed the case
head is visible.

September 13, 2003, 05:39 PM

I think I just figured it out. It isn't camera flash lighting the base of the bullet, it's the spotlight focused on the target!

The slug has just passed beneath a beam. On the back side of that beam is a spotlight focused on the target - or actually not quite pointed at the target, if you compare his target with the one in the next lane.

Anyway, since you can easily see a .45 in flight, there's no reason a camera can't take a picture of it. All of you guys are probably correct about the duration of flash, etc, but that isn't what is lighting up the slug.

Pretty neat!


September 13, 2003, 08:07 PM
Great work; pack_rat!!!!! Most credible explanation yet!!!!:D

September 13, 2003, 09:54 PM
No double tapping during this range trip....

Yes, the range is Eds guns near Town Center Mall.

September 13, 2003, 10:10 PM
I've seen 38s and 45 autos with the naked eye when the light is right. Probaly the projo, as most said. :cool:

September 13, 2003, 10:44 PM
I'd say it's the bullet. I almost always see the reflection of the 38's and 9mm that I throw down range. In the range that I frequent, the lights are pointing forwards. Great picture! Congrats.

September 13, 2003, 11:29 PM
Outstanding thread!

I stand firmly on both sides of the issue! :D

September 14, 2003, 09:15 AM
Late to this thread, I know, but here's my $0.02... specifically in reference to Double Naught's sharp "bullet" / blurred hand dilemma:

Easy to explain this one. Note the floodlight at the top left of the picture illuminating the shooter's position. There's plenty of ambient light at the firing line to create a ghost image of the shooter's hand corresponding to motion during the time the shutter was open. The angle of the lamp is such that it wouldn't provide much illumination downrange. On re-reading the replies I see Pappy John said essentially the same thing.

Fascinating thread, guys, with lots of well-reasoned replies. My vote is that the bright spot is quite possibly, if not likely the bullet. Cool pic one way or the other.

September 14, 2003, 07:52 PM
Man, this photo controversy has generated more discussion than the Kennedy assasination.

September 14, 2003, 08:03 PM
[Posted by hksw
Man, this photo controversy has generated more discussion than the Kennedy assasination.

Yeah........with about the same divided conclusions.;)

September 14, 2003, 08:53 PM
I can't see anything that looks like a bullet...

just a X


Chuck Dye
September 14, 2003, 09:00 PM
First an assumption or three: that the round in question was a typical hardball load or not very dissimilar ballistically and had a muzzle velocity of 850 fps and BC near enough to .150 as to make no worthwhile difference, and that the camera’s synch shutter speed was 1/1000 sec or slower (very, very generous). From a ballistics program, such a bullet slows to about 830 fps in 25 yards and I will also assume that the range to the white dot is 25 yards or less. A thyristor controlled auto flash adjusts exposure by shortening the duration of the pulse, maximum power is generally 1/1000 of a second, minimum typically 1/50,000 and sometimes even shorter. Given that the shooter is wearing white and the camera is very close, I will guess that the flash duration is near minimum just to be generous. 830 fps, the lowest bullet velocity worth discussing in this setup, divided by 50,000 (and multiplied by 12) gives image streaking of .199 inch. Given the angle of bullet travel to the camera angle, I don’t think image streaking eliminates the idea of a bullet producing the image is eliminated if the image is produced by the strobelight.

If the image IS produced by the camera’s flash, the inverse square law comes into play. The shooter’s shirt is well exposed. If the flash is 1 yard from the shirt and the 5 yards from the bullet, the bullet is getting 1/25 the light of the shirt, a difference of over 4.5 stops for the photographers, a difference even a mirror polish on the bullets base is unlikely to overcome. The bullet would have had to be much closer in order to have received enough of the flash to be sufficiently lighted to produce a visible exposure.

If the bullet produced the image and was lit by a range flood lamp while going no less than 830 fps, it would produce an image over a distance of 9.96 inches for a shutter speed of 1/1000 sec, much longer for the more likely 1/250 sec to 1/125 sec.

Sorry, gang, I vote no.

edited for a typo: .199 inch image streaking in the strobe light, not .119.

Lonnie Jaycox
September 14, 2003, 10:46 PM
Not so fast Huck.
Streaking would occur if the bullet remained inside the light source. If the bullet wasd breaking the a narrow focused beam it would only reflect back for the time it was in the beam. This could produce a non-streaked image. Also, if the flash is the souce, it is an expanding wave that lights the bullet for only the duration of the flash (the wave passes the bullet by.) Either of these situations could reflect back a seeming point source of light from a moving object. It may not be the flash due to the intensity arguement given above. I lean toiward the momentary reflection of the flood beam as the bullet broke the beam while the shutter was open.

September 14, 2003, 11:00 PM
Regardless if that is the bullet in flight or not, I think it is one heck of a cool photo.:D

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