Abstract Photos of Bullets Fragmented on Bulletproof Plexiglass

For her project “The Big Bang“, photographer Deborah Bay captured macro photographs of plexiglass sheets that had various types of firearms fired at them. After having professional law enforcement officers fire bullets into the glass, she brought the sheets into a studio and “shot” them again with a Contax 645 and a 120 macro lens. She writes,

I began thinking about “The Big Bang” after seeing a sales display of bullet-proof plexiglas that had projectiles embedded in it. The plexiglas captured the fragmentation of the bullets and provided a visual record of the energy released on impact. As I began to explore this concept further, I also was intrigued by the psychological tension created between the jewel-like beauty and the inherent destructiveness of the fragmented projectiles. Many of the images resemble exploding galaxies, and visions of intergalactic bling sublimate the horror of bullets meeting muscle and bone. In fact, Susan Sontag described the camera as “a sublimation of the gun” — load, aim and shoot.

The Big Bang by Deborah Bay (via PDN)

Image credits: Photographs by Deborah Bay and used with permission

  • Cochese

    These are all really neat and cool looking, but it looks like they also added some color to them.

    Also, I read the name “Susan Sontag” as “Susan Strong” and now I must go and watch Adventure Time.

  • Damianmonisvais

    Sontag statement has nothing to do with what these images are. I cant begin to describe how misplaced her words are to these images

  • russianbox

    people need to stop reading what artist say about works (I’m not saying you were) and just see them for what they are. I hate it when artists go off on one about a meaning for something. if it looks good it looks good.

    same goes for photography

  • Josh

    The added color gradients are blatant and disappointing!

  • Dave

     If the photographer created these images as art pieces, then she has the freedom to add whatever elements she chooses, be it splashes of color or whatever.
    It is her work and she has creative license over them. If you want
    documentary photography you should all be trolling crime scene photo
    websites, or passport photo websites so you can enjoy images that are
    100% accurate and 0% interesting.

  • Dave

     She has the right to add color if she chooses. She is the artist.


    @7866115b3aeefc2dded74e4526dcf114:disqus my neiġhbör’s ex-Ẁife mâkes $82 every hoùr ōn the lâptōṗ. she hâs ḃeeŋ ùŋeMṗLoyed for 7 months bùt lâst Month her ṗây was $21653 jùst worĸinġ ön the laṗtop for a few höurs. Read möré öņ tħis Ẁeḃ sité..

  • CryptWalker

    Sorry if your feeble brain can not understand art. I feel sorry for you that you cannot appreciate these pictures.

  • Michael Johnston

    Thank god there is never a shortage of art queers to school the poor intellectually disadvantaged.

    They can’t just appreciate a picture for what it is. 

    They always have to conjure up some ‘unique perception’ to attribute to their work.

  • Damianmonisvais

    One cannot ignore the fact the Creator choose not to stay silent and speak words that have the ability to damage the work.

  • Damianmonisvais

     Calling photographers artist just feels to me as a miserable attempt at trying to fit in.

  • Damianmonisvais

     These are photographs and not art. Sorry Your feeble brain cannot differentiate between the two.

  • Damianmonisvais


  • Dave

     Let me guess, your definition of art is a Journey album cover? Don’t stumble on to a photography blog puking out your nonsense and expect anyone to give you the time of day. You are in over your head son.

  • mike

    Plexiglass is fricken awesome!!!!

  • Killermotion

    Coffee almost shot out of my nose. So true. 

  • Killermotion

    You are blatant and disappointing. 

  • DouglasLucchetti

    Actually, plexiglass is a tradename. It is more likely that this is what is called polycarbonate, manufactured under a variety of trade names like Lexan, or Makroclear, among others,  since it was so effective at capturing these projectiles the way they did. Most plexiglasses, also called Poly(methyl acrylate) which we see around us are relatively brittle whereas Polycarbonate is particularly good at absorbing this kind of impact energy but it’s a bit more expensive. As for the color, it doesn’t matter too much and for all we know it might be due to the refractive or polarizing optical properties of this transparent and now deformed material.  

  • Damianmonisvais

     Dave, why have you failed to render through my argument and retreat to attack me personally (a total stranger). And not giving me the time of day but responding to my comment does seem like a contradictory statement.
     All I was trying to do was bring up a discourse to see where most people stand on the thought of art and these photographs, in which I personally believe this is no more interesting then the stock and cliche photographs of water splashes.