It all began in 1878, when Eadward Muybridge photographed a galloping horse, answering the age old question once and for all: did a horses’ feet leave the ground at once during a gallop. The answer was yes, and the power of high-speed photography was established. The power to capture every movement in a series of extremely fast events means that details can be separated from one another and minute functions and operations dissected. High-speed photography is an oft-used tool in the development of biomechanics research methods, since the movements of enzymes and even molecules can be tracked and measured with great precision.
High speed photography was then taken by the horns by the Eastman Kodak company, which captured 90% of market share in terms of sales of photographic films. Today, high speed photography has progressed immensely, and is used in many fields, from the medical, to the biological, and industrial. Recently, at Florida Tech the Department of Physics and Space Sciences conducted research that lead them to use the Phantom V1210, which at it’s full resolution captured images at up to 12,600 frames-per-second. A 1000 fps camera can do much of the same.
Consider these facts about high speed photography:
- Shutter speeds are usually measured in fractions of a second, ranging from one full second to 1/1000th of a second. More light is allowed into the film the longer the shutter is open.
- With a 3-megapixel camera, you can actually really take a higher-resolution picture than most computer monitors can display.
- Depending on the optical system used, it’s possible to reach more than 1 million frames per second. Now that’s what we call high speed photography.