How-To Geek

Image Fulgurator Paints Graffiti On Photos

With a little creative modification, an old film camera and flash can be turned into a subtle tool for invisibly hacking other people’s photos.

Julius von Bismark, through some clever DIY hacking, has created a rather novel camera, or rather, a projector that looks like a camera. While he may look like a fellow photographer, snapping pictures of whatever it is your’re photographing, he’s actually projecting images and text from his camera-as-projector Image Fulgurator onto the surface you’re photographing. He describes the process as such:

Technically, the Image Fulgurator works like a classical camera, though in reverse. In a normal camera, the light reflected from an object is projected via the lens onto the film. In the Image Fulgurator, this process is exactly the opposite: instead of an unexposed film, an exposed and developed roll of slide film is loaded into the camera and behind it, a flash. When the flash goes off, the image is projected from the film via the lens onto the object.

Due to the similarity of the two processes, the Fulgurator looks like a conventional reflex camera. As soon as the built-in sensor registers a flash somewhere nearby, the flash projection is triggered. Hence the projection can be synchronized to the exact moment of exposure of all other cameras in its immediate vicinity. Via a screen (ground glass), it is possible to focus the projection and to position it on the targeted object.

His web site has diagrams and examples of the device is action. There’s enough detail that a dedicated DIYer could easily replicate the effect and begin photobombing with their own modified camera. Hit up the link below for more information.

Image Fulgurator [Julius von Bismark]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 10/19/11

Comments (6)

  1. Golden Snitch

    Why would someone want to mess up someone’s once in a life time photo? I understand that it is a crazy cool concept but doing this at a public place is such an invasion of privacy it should be illegal. Oh well. Cool idea though.

  2. yellow snatch

    total bellend! I hope someone takes it and rams it so far up his A**e he never wants to mess up someones photos again

  3. Jack

    Am i the only person who misread the title as gaddafi?

  4. Adam Leite

    I can see those who do not want their art to be photographed (and divulged around the world, which will attract more people to see it) using this technique as the DRM version for photos, signs, building facades, paintings, clothes, etc.). It will be the end of popular divulgement of art, maybe the end of the camera as we know it.

  5. tommy2rs

    Lol…now if it could be developed as an anti-paparazzi tool I bet it would make millions.

  6. Steve

    Well it relies on the victim using a flash so it’s only marginally useful for vandalism of other’s photos.

    The Fulgerator is very useful, though, for projecting subliminal messages at political events. Surreptitious use of Fulgerators loaded with suitable text and image slides allows political operatives to effectively, say, promote Perry at Romney gatherings, boost family values at libertarian meetings or enhance Bachman’s esteem among Ron Paul supporters.

    Rove is an early adopter.

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