Alan Sailer likes to shoot stuff with a pellet rifle in his basement, watching as a chocolate bunny crackles under the stress, a roll of Smarties explodes into dust, and a frozen strawberry is blown to smithereens.
Relax, it’s all in the name of art: Sailer captures the carnage using a microsecond spark flash, which he built himself according to a 1974 Scientific American article and a 1984 operation manual. Delving into his photo series, one sees that he’s tried to detonate pretty much everything he could get his hands on, albeit with varied success; his food series–striking shots of everything from avocados to rhubarb set against bright, saturated backgrounds–are particularly impressive, but he’s also waged a private war against Christmas, assembling a vast archive of shattered ornaments.
After panning through his arresting photos, you might feel inspired to construct your own flash, and Sailer, a professional engineer, generously outlines all the references you should need on his Flickr page, with a caveat: “If you do decide to try and build a flash from this information, please be careful. The main storage capacitor is pure death.”BL