• 02.24.12

Alan Sailer’s Delicious Pics Of Exploding Food And Toys

What does a frozen strawberry look like when you blast it with a pellet gun? Now you know.

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.”

About the author

Belinda Lanks is the editorial director of Co.Design. Before joining, she was the managing editor of Metropolis.