Hacker Rob Flickenger wasn’t satisfied with ordinary photographs of his ongoing Tesla coil experiments, so he decided to shoot Matrix-style “bullet time” images to capture “3D lightning”. He purchased 10 Canon A470 cameras and configured them to function as a single 70-megapixel 10-angle camera.
Why that particular camera? Partly because I found someone dumping a bunch of them on eBay for cheap, but also because they run CHDK, the infamous scriptable firmware for Canon cameras. This let me write some code to streamline the process of taking ten photos all at once, and then get them off of the cameras in a reasonable manner. By wiring all of them to the same 10-port USB hub, and using CHDK’s syncable USB remote feature, I was able to wire up a single button to make all of the cameras fire at once.
His hard work paid off, and Flickenger managed to capture some pretty unique shots of his Tesla coil in action.
To capture “portraits of the sun” and to illustrate its power, General Electric filled 20 weather balloons with hydrogen and helium, surrounded them with 24 Canon DSLR cameras (18 7Ds and 6 60Ds), and shot the balloons exploding Matrix-style.
If you want to make a “bullet time” video like the kind made famous by The Matrix, you don’t need a gigantic budget or 52 DSLRs lined up in a row. Just get a large group of friends, stand in a circle around your subjects, and snap pictures at the same time! Photoblog.hk recently held an event called “See You Around Hong Kong” where large groups of photography enthusiasts gathered to do just that.
Here’s an idea: find a bunch of photography-lovin’ friends, borrow their DSLR cameras, and shoot your own Matrix-style bullet time videos from home! The above video shows a workshop where they were able to bring together 24 cameras for this awesome purpose.
Surf wear maker Rip Curl recently teamed up with Timeslice Films for an ambitious project of shooting surfers in “bullet-time“, the effect that many people first saw in The Matrix. They used a crazy camera array of 52 Canon 5D Mark II Rebel DSLRs in order to capture the same shot from 52 different angles, stringing them together for the final footage. Read more…