NPR logo Lunch-Break Photos: 'Potato Moment' And Other Exploding Stuff (Why Not?)

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Lunch-Break Photos: 'Potato Moment' And Other Exploding Stuff (Why Not?)

I almost felt bad asking Alan Sailer about his photos. According to his Flickr page, he's just an engineer with a hobby. A hobby that has generated a ton of interest. "At one point," he writes in an email, "a picture of a pellet being sliced in two by a razor blade went viral and nearly drove me crazy."

His explosion photos have gone viral on a few occasions and, thanks to the mysterious machinations of the Internet, have lately been resurfacing on various blogs. And though I almost felt bad about joining the ranks ... I didn't really.

Sailer started experimenting when he saw the photography of Jasper Nance on Flickr, he writes. He built his own flash that runs at about 20,000 volts "and is potentially very deadly."

He also uses guns, though he says they scare him. Sailer fires small pellets from a rifle and gets what he considers a successful frame about every 100 tries. "My garage is a complete mess of splattered guck like jello, food and glass," he writes. And if you look through his photos, you'll see why.

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