Experiments You Can Do at Home - But Probably Shouldn't

Chapter 7
Twisted Shop Class » The Original Flash Photo

The Original Flash Photo

Magnesium is great for shiny wheels and really bright explosions perfect for lighting old-time photographs. A man in a 19th-century cowboy outfit and safety glasses points a toy rifle at a Tiki-type yard torch.

Absurdist art at its absurdest? No, it's a scientific investigation of the effect of surface area on the flammability of magnesium-or to put it another way, how to take a photograph using a magnesium fireball as a flash, the way people did 100 years ago. (Also a slightly less scientific investigation of how great I look in a cowboy outfit.)

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