For a recent assignment for Men’s Health magazine, photographer Adam Voorhes was tasked with creating photos of chili peppers exploding.
He decided to stuff fresno chilis with tiny small fireworks to create the explosions. Obtaining the fireworks proved to be a challenge, but luckily it was a challenge that was soon met with an unexpected solution:
We did have the technical hurdle of acquiring fire crackers off season. I mentioned the idea to my cousin Sterling who was having drinks at my house. He asked how many I needed. Just one pack should be plenty, I said. Oh no problem, he told me, I have a bunch of fireworks in the trunk. You have fireworks in the trunk of your car? In Texas? In the heat? Yeah, he explained, you never know when you’ll need some.
Once he had the fireworks in hand, Voorhes carried out the shoot with his nephew Miles (a soldier who recently returned from Afghanistan) as his assistant.
He used a Arca-Swiss medium format view camera with a PhaseOne P65+ digital back, which was triggered using a Mumford Time Machine and sound trigger mic. In other words, the camera snapped a photograph at the moment when the sound of the explosion reached it.
Here’s what you’ll get if you do what’s described above:
You can find some more technical information on how the photographs were shot (including a lighting diagram) over on Strobist, where David Hobby has a nice breakdown of Voorhes’ setup.
Image credits: Photographs by Adam Voorhes and used with permission