Dennis Havel, a retired 63-year-old policeman from New York, managed to photograph a pellet flying through a falling water drop when his friend challenged him to a $50 bet that it could not be done. Read on to see how the cop captured the shot!
The task was difficult and Dennis Havel, had to think hard on how to accomplish this. It took him days and months of calculations and then he needed only a couple of days to build a device that would enable him to go through with it by making the drop fall, the bullet fire, and the camera flash just by pressing one single button. This is how he explains the whole process:
“I’m not an expert photographer, it was more of a mathematics and physics thing. A lot of calculations have to be done, it is down to 20,000ths of a second. I use infra red detectors so when the drop is released it breaks the beam which starts a sequence in a timer module made specially for this called a ‘stopshot’. Once the falling water drop breaks that beam, it starts the timer and I’ve pre-calculated how long it will take to drop 13 inches. I have the timer set so it fires the flash a couple of thousands of seconds after the drop is released so it fires when the drop is in the middle of the frame.”
As Havel said, it really was much more of a mathematics and physics thing: he had to calculate how long the drop of water would take to fall a distance of 33cm at the same time that the bullet flew at 260m a second. Phew. But it was a success, as you can see, and the results really are stunning.
Probably the best $50 he’s ever made.