Monday, July 03, 2006

Ever Seen Popcorn Pop?

It is the long Independence Day weekend, so I brought home a camera from my new job and spent an hour or so on Saturday shooting movies of popcorn popping. It is one of those things you “seen” a thousand times but never really seen. Anyway, in the two movies that I link to below, you can see popcorn popping.

Both shots were made with a Vision Research Phantom v7.1 color high-speed digital camera. I used a Nikon 105mm AF Micro Nikkon lens. Both were shot at 3000 pictures-per-second with a per-picture exposure time of 50 microseconds. The popcorn was lit with two Northstar 250W lights. The first picture was shot an at aperature setting of 5.6 the second at 8 for a slightly greater depth-of-field. Both images are 512 X 512 pixels.

The movies are in Quicktime format and range from about 3.5MB to 3.9MB, so allow time for a download. You’ll need the h.264 codec available in Quicktime version 7. Let me know if you have any trouble viewing the movies and I can encode them differently (I was going to the greatest quality at the smallest file size.)

First popcorn movie

This one ends up a little out of focus, but pops very fast and I love the droplets of hot oil flying through the air.

Second popcorn movie

This one has better focus and the kernel of popcorn stays in the frame! Which is pretty amazing. Notice the swirl of steam toward the end of the shot.

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Posted under: Stuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 07/03/2006 at 01:50 PM
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