Image Fulgurator Adds Graffiti to Other People’s Photographs

The Image Fulgurator is a brilliant device created — and patented — by Berlin-based artist Julius von Bismarck. It’s an optically triggered slave flash that fires through the back of a camera, projecting a message or image on the film through the lens — basically, it’s an optically triggered projector. What this allows von Bismarck to do is prank unsuspecting photographers by adding random pictures or words into their photographs whenever they use their camera’s flash.

Here are photos in which he inserted a “NO” into the Pope’s speech, an “O2″ onto Berlin’s mayor, a dove onto the portrait of Mao in Tiananmen Square, and a cross onto President Obama’s podium:

The best part about the device is that it’s only triggered when another camera is also flashing, making the “graffiti” visible only to other people’s cameras.

Here’s a video of van Bismarck using the device at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin:

Image Fulgurator [Julius von Bismarck]

  • Anonymous

    Freaking brilliant.

  • Sebastián Soto

    I actually would use this as a watermark for my photos.

  • arttyIV

    Wow. What a unique and awesome idea.

  • ohno studio

    I saw the video shortly after it was put on line. While I see the creative possibilities here, the unsuspected photo trickery is also pretty darned funny!

  • Anonymous

    It’s cool and all, but it’s also kind of douchie to essentially graffiti someone else’s, maybe once in a lifetime, shot.

  • An On

    Oh, imagine the supernatural theories…

  • Josh Ladella

    WOW. And the person taking the picture wouldn’t even realize it since their mirror would go up!

  • Meow

    tracking meeh with da cookies ehh?

  • nopenopenope

    Interesting idea, but it’s pretty shitty to fuck with somebody elses photographs. If he sells this idea as an advertising tool or a way of ruining ‘unauthorised’ pictures, then I wish a plague on his household.

  • Anonymous

    Good thing I use primes so I rarely need to use a flash.

  • Max Power

    Put a bird on it.

  • 8fps

    This is (very) old news. But at least you finally found out.

  • Bas ter Beek

    Wow. This could be used by advertisers. Putting their logo’s into people’s photographs, or use it to copyright objects!

  • Sean Armenta

    um it looks like a gun disguised as a camera. not something i would want to be walking around with in these paranoid times trying to make political statements lol

  • D4v1d

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the artists who are demanding rights for photographs taken at their shows started using this to put copyright info into photographs at their shows.

  • Jules Mattsson

    It’s been around a while and I find it pretty creative & funny but considering the looks not sure pointing it at a major politician is good for your continued survival!

  • Bmdavis

    Fixed focal length “prime” lenses would have little to do with flash or not.

  • Photog

    His video may be real because of controlled conditions of only being a few meters away with the device in the dark. But the other examples given are just plain fakes.  No front projection system has the power to project in daylight across a sea of reporters to put a cross on the podium of the President. Do you honestly think this guy is getting anywhere close to the Pope or the President with a device like this. The o2 is faked too. The subjects shoulder is turned yet the o2 remains perpendicular to the viewer. Light doesn’t work that way.

  • Sunny16

    If they used an SLR.

  • Abdullah Eyles

    So the photo of Obama was taken with the light from someone else’s flash? Seems like a daylight shot to me.

    I wish I had time to do all the jobs I want to rather than find something useless like this to waste my time with….