Guns and Blammo

"We need art for the story about the shooting range..!" Cool. Loud noises and hurtling projectiles. Add to that a neighbor only four doors down the block from me who volunteered to take me out shooting - in both senses of the word. I had good light, and then I added in some extra strobes to make the sky more dramatic/saturated. The first image was a very quick grab shot. If I said it was a planned image I would be stretching the truth. From the time that I saw the bullet as a item for a close-up/detail until the bullet was being loaded into the gun did not top 45 seconds.
The real challenge was to make an image that looked like somebody actually firing a gun. The light was pretty strong, and no matter what I did with a motordrive and reflexes - including audible countdowns - I could not get anything near an impressive muzzle flash. So what else? Of course, when one of these semi-automatic pistols fires it ejects the brass casing. Catching one of those in the air, along with the gun in recoil, still said shooting.

This image was one of those often dubbed "hail Mary" shots. I prefocused with a 12mm lens, stood behind Andy and held the camera up over his shoulder. Again, you can't see the muzzle flash or the bullet, but there is the ejecting brass casing.

The overview shot was less than picturesque. But in case the editors wanted an image giving some idea of the range itself (that was the focus of the story, afterall) I wanted them to have an option.

What the photos don't show is that after the cameras were locked away on my car, I got to fire off a couple of clips. Aside from a .177 caliber air cartridge pistol I occassionally shot with in my backyard while in high school, I have never fired a handgun before. So I am not sure who was more suprised, Andy or myself, when my second shot was a bulls-eye. And the rest of the hits were all grouped fairly tightly. Maybe it is just like taking a photo - just remember to steady yourself and squeeze gently.

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