from a portfolio of 10 prints

%C2%A9The Harold %26 Esther Edgerton Foundation%2C 2001%2C Courtesy of Palm Press%2C Inc.

.30 Bullet Piercing an Apple, 1964

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One of Harold Edgerton’s most important contributions to photography was the popularization of the stroboscope. This device uses a flashing light (a strobe) to seemingly slow or stop motion, which is what allowed Edgerton to take this photograph of a bullet just after it exited an apple. If you’ve ever been to a dance with a strobe light, you might notice that the people appear to be moving in slow motion. The same principle is in effect here.

This innovation was to prove crucial in photographing high-speed objects or events and had wide-ranging applications, such has helping to view vocal cords, or studying the stresses on machinery in motion. His body of work is characterized by technical innovation, which allowed him to “freeze time.” Edgerton photographed subjects from milk droplets to nuclear bomb tests, often with surreal and beautiful results.

.30 Bullet Piercing an Apple
Artist Life
1903 - 1990
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

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from a portfolio of 10 prints

©The Harold & Esther Edgerton Foundation, 2001, Courtesy of Palm Press, Inc.

Because of © restrictions, we can only show you a small image of this artwork.