Image Fulgurator Paints Graffiti On Photos

By Jason Fitzpatrick on October 19th, 2011

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
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