PlayDoh(tm) Spectrum

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    So, since my kidlet days, I have arranged colors in the ROYGBIV order. Used to spend hours with my massive crayon set, trying to decide if a certain brown crayon was more red or more blue.

    This is not something that I can change as it is encoded in my DNA. This, as well my nurture, has pre-programed me.

    So this is why this photo has this spectral progression.

    Also, note how the Popsicle stick is bending down under its kinetic obligations.

    Shot six of six. The delay was the key.

    Also the new pre-focus thingee is giving me a much higher keeper ratio.

    Edit : This picture keeps on getting more attention than it deserves. But people want to see a .gif animation. Which I have since learned how to do.

    Another Edit : Still getting more attention that it deserves. But that's the internet. The .gif I added with Picasian (damn it's black soul) doesn't work anymore. neither do the couple of hundred other I made.

    Also, the pellet is going from left to right. We are not dealing with hollow-point going faster than the speed of sound, so fragmentation is not an issue. Even if it was a supersonic bullet, the red ball would be all blown to flinders as it would be the first ball hit. And thus have the longest time to fall apart.

    The exit wound argument is wrong in this case....

    So I put one in the comments.

    S Bavido, LucianaCarjica, knewman, and 476 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. Mina (: 54 months ago | reply

      waaaaaaaaaah,love it!!

    2. umidas art 54 months ago | reply

      what a great concept, and great timing!

    3. SIMPLE SIMONS PAL 53 months ago | reply

      WOW!!!! Brilliant shot!!!

    4. joey16g 52 months ago | reply

      This photo has so much energy behind it. There is so much anticipation on that last ball getting POPPED right off of ball...that's what you've given me.

    5. Limpy Dan 47 months ago | reply

      Pre focus thingy?

    6. rgeorgi 47 months ago | reply

      So, how is your timing triggered? Is this sound-activated with a delay?

    7. alan_sailer 47 months ago | reply


      The prefocus predictor is described in my Tech Crap set. It helps solve the problem of how to prefocus on an unexploded target and still get the exploded target in focus.


      It is triggered using a laser beam shining on a photodiode. When the pellet interrupts the beam, the trigger pulse is sent to a simple adjustable delay, which triggers the flash at the proper moment.

      Proper moment is a guess, but it is an art I am pretty good at.


    8. natemcsp 47 months ago | reply

      That's absolutely awesome. :)

    9. Scott Goodwill 47 months ago | reply

      very cool . great shot

    10. alan_sailer 42 months ago | reply


      Thanks. It has attracted a lot of attention for sure.


    11. alan_sailer 33 months ago | reply

      When I took this picture I had no idea on how to do a .gif animation. But I do now and people have asked for one.

    12. Marc Shandro 26 months ago | reply

      I've enjoyed looking through many of your fun experiments. I like your enthusiasm for this genre. Thanks for the recent visit.

    13. Andy Holt 22 months ago | reply

      alan_sailer - can you *please* solve an argument I am having - which way is the bullet travelling? Left-to-right or right-to-left?
      Thank you!

    14. alan_sailer 22 months ago | reply


      All of my projectile pictures (including this one) are shot with the "bullet/pellet/bearing/etc" trveling from left to right.
      In this case it's easy to see, the playdoh is falling apart more on the left, where the pellet hit first.

      (Hope you won the big money).

    15. Andy Holt 22 months ago | reply

      Thanks loads, Alan. I used both those bits of evidence to press a case for left-to-right but my friend wasn't having it. No cash involved - just kudos and a glorious sense of victory! ;)

      Love your work, btw :)

    16. alan_sailer 22 months ago | reply


      Well in defense of your friends position, I was pretty surprised by a lot of stuff about high speed imagery. A lot of it is not very intuitive.


    17. tspagnola25 22 months ago | reply

      I guess you could say... Blue didn't have a clue.

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