Art and Mischief

If you’re a high-falutin’ artist or a photo-geek and you’re up for some mischief, consider making this flash canon called “The Fulgerator” to mess with the photos of others… Click continue reading for a video of the sophisticated prank in action and a link to the original post.

Apparently, it’s adapted from a flash and an old SLR, it senses the flash of someone’s camera, and then quickly illuminates itself, projecting images or text onto the object that is being snapped by the other unsuspecting photographer:

[Update: Wired Mag blog picked this up and did a nice job with the details. Let’s hope the guy gets rich!]

[Thanks James, via the great post at Gizmodo]

23 Responses to Art and Mischief

  1. teddybear June 25, 2008 at 4:17 pm #

    Holy smokes is that a tight photo of that dudes photo canon!

  2. ricklohre June 25, 2008 at 4:28 pm #

    OK now that’s some good fun!!
    Soo wrong but really good fun.

    What would you do if someone sat there and “gangked” one of your commercial gigs!

    Ultimate conspiracy! That’s just wrong.

    I would never condone the use of such a device…Hmm…where’d you say your next shoot was?


  3. Anonymous June 25, 2008 at 4:34 pm #

    So ricklohre goes one way with the idea as sabotage, I’ll go the other way – that it’s actually some pretty good art.

    Imagine, it’s challenging our perceptions of “reality” quite strongly.

    What ye philosopher of art Chase sayeth?

  4. Jay McLaughlin June 25, 2008 at 5:15 pm #

    Think of the possibilities!!!

    You could seriously ruin the day for loads of paparazzi!

    For some reason though I can’t help wanting to use if for putting inappropriate words behind family portraits! haha

  5. Jake June 25, 2008 at 5:23 pm #

    Saw that on Giz early this morning…good stuff. Though I don’t suspect the mischievous “artist” would make it far in the States, given that the device looks more like a gun than a camera. Likely to be taken out by over-suspicious citizen-arrest types, IMHO!

  6. Chase Jarvis June 25, 2008 at 6:08 pm #

    Chase agree-eth. The tomfoolery is fun, but the comments that the art is making are quite impressive as well…undermining conventional assumptions about photography and “reality”. There’s also an extra layer of goodness here in a digital age, and that’s when people pause to chimp the back of their cameras and they see this writing on their cameras, they are immediately thrown into curiosity, confusion, even disbelief, at that exact moment.

  7. Darien Chin June 25, 2008 at 6:41 pm #

    that was insanely awesome..

  8. Rafael June 25, 2008 at 7:24 pm #

    OOo Come on! You and David are bloggin togheter now?! haha

  9. Anonymous June 25, 2008 at 7:31 pm #

    I would love it if my images were “hacked” like this! What a funny discovery.

    Perhaps Chase and Co can buy/get one of these light canons?

  10. Chase Jarvis June 25, 2008 at 7:38 pm #

    Had no idea the David and I both jumped on this today – cool. props to Gizmodo and the handful of photogs who sent us this link! It’s so popular it MUST be cool ;)

    (I gotta get me one, actually. Anybody out there wanna make one if’n I pay for it ?)

  11. James June 25, 2008 at 8:07 pm #

    hey man,

    contact the young german guy – he could probably use the dough.

    glad you liked the link enough to post it. it’s crafty. Of course the strobist jumped on it too – gotta love gizmodo.


  12. Stephan Sachs June 25, 2008 at 10:45 pm #

    awesome, what the people have in their minds to invent – wow…and moreover the fulgurator looks damn good ;o)

  13. Richard Cave June 26, 2008 at 12:06 am #

    I want banksy to read this as i know he could do some awesome stuff with it.


    mind you the guy doing this considers himself an urban terrorist. Anyone using a terrorist organisation symbol as his identity just proves what a muppet he is.

    If he popped up im my location his fulgarator will topple over in the wind. His beard would probably catch fire mysteriously.

    I like banksy as his art does not harm others art, the social comments banksy has are useful benchmark on the views of society at that moment in time.

    This bearded muppet has annoyed me.

  14. Alvaro MAM June 26, 2008 at 1:48 am #

    This is really fun, like one of those classic pranks from early geeks/hackers, but as Chase noted this is only possible because of the digital photography age, imagine if you would find out after developing your roll, prank ruined and also it is because of the digital age that we get to enjoy the prank or even open a discussion on its artistic connotations.

  15. david cartier June 26, 2008 at 3:50 am #

    okay I would love to use this in a press conference .

  16. Marcos G. Meider June 26, 2008 at 5:39 am #

    That’s cool and quite impressive. I must admit that it can only come out from a bright mind, but I would call it “art” if it don’t harm anyone. Could you imagine this happening in the middle of a commercial photo shooting?. Even if you could repeat the photo again, every picture is unique and this guy has created an artistic interpretation by ruining and sabotaging the artistic view of someone else (even if is a simple snapshot of your girlfriend o boyfriend).
    Do firemen step on others firemen hose?

  17. Juan June 26, 2008 at 6:14 am #

    Very smart. In the movie industry, we actually call it a gobo, and it’s as old as the industry itself. The idea to use a camera as a projector, with the gobo (or pattern) being placed on the focal plane, though, is very smart since it will allow the user to keep a low-profile even in crowded places.

    The pistol grip is only a fancy gimmick.

    Chase, I guess I could build one for you, if you want. I’m going to Paris mid-July.

    You’ll want a Nikon F mount, I guess? I think I still have a Nikon F80 which would be great for this, since I abused it and now the back is bent and scratches the film. The SB800 already have the SU-4 built-in, so it will be even easier to handle, and would even take advantage of the i-TTL.

    There are other ways to get the same result, but using an interchangeable lens slr is the most convenient to be able to beam the light.

    Go to my website, and follow the contact link if you’re interested.

  18. brad June 26, 2008 at 8:56 am #

    What this idea is just dying for:
    “All your base are belong to us.”

  19. Keith McAdams June 26, 2008 at 9:24 am #

    Hi there! I just wanted to tell you about this submission to JPG Magazine that I have. Check it out! Please vote!. you may have to creat an account to vote but its short and very sweet lol you will see what i mean.

  20. Reflections by the Hill June 26, 2008 at 10:26 am #

    So, will museums and other places where you are not aloud to take pictures with a flash going to pick up one of these (or even make one). Then the message could read “Please don’t use your flash.”

    Great and fun idea!!

  21. Enrique Aguirre June 26, 2008 at 11:31 am #

    Air fare to Berlin &1500
    Hotel in Berlin $150 a night
    New point and shoot digital camera $375
    Having the photo-memories of the 2 week vacation you get off from your carp job ruined by some guy with a bad beard… priceless

    Then, I can see some corporation picking up on the idea and installing a giant one of these at every tourist location in the world… imagine Yosemite’s El Capitan with a half mile high “enjoy CocaCola”.

    Repent, the end is near.

  22. Adam June 27, 2008 at 10:47 pm #

    Thanks for the idea, I will definitely be doing this with my high school classes in the fall. Now I have a use for my old Pentax K1000’s!

  23. Jacob Gibb June 30, 2008 at 8:39 am #

    That’s it. I’m growing a beard.

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