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The California-based photographer, Alan Sailer, 54, has captured a series of otherwise unassuming items as they explode on contact with a bullet.

The dramatic results feature everything from flowers to fruit, as well as more unexpected items such as bacon and even snow globes.

An expert at high-speed photography, Mr Sailer takes the pictures in a dark room positioned around 20cm from the target.

The camera, which features a unique home-made flash, is set at a one-second delay.

Mr Sailer, who describes the process as 'beyond dangerous', says: 'The special item is the flash. It is a home-built unit based on the design of Harold Edgerton. The flash is about .5 microsecond in duration and runs at 17,000 volts. It is beyond dangerous, it's deadly.'

The flash is triggered when the pellet from a rifle travelling at about 200 metres per seconds passes through a laser beam. Its the same principle as those beams that set off a chime when you walk into a store,' he added.

'The camera is set at one second and an f-stop of 9-13 depending on the reflectivity of the subject. The flash stops the action. The one second gives me time to click the camera shutter with one hand while I pull the trigger on the rifle with the other.'

A handful of cocktail stirrers shatter as artist Alan Sailer fires a rifle at them, capturing every step of the carnage


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