Kevin Twomey’s Exploding Condiments – Best Left to the Professionals


Lately, Kevin Twomey has been playing around with photographing exploding objects.   His most recent being condiments.  Yes, condiments.

Here is what he had to share about the shoot.

“One aspect of photography that I have always enjoyed is the balance between the technical and creative. Over the past couple of months, in between commercial projects, I have been having fun capturing high-speed imagery of exploding beer bottles, light bulbs and condiment packets.

I collaborated with Ian Jones, a fellow photographer and gun owner to help me figure out how small of a projectile I needed to make a beer bottle explode.  Fortunately we only needed pellets and BBs.

Before shooting the beer and lightbulbs (gun and camera!), we developed some safety precautions: we placed a sheet of plexiglass to protect Ian from shrapnel while he stood less than 4 feet away from the subject, and we surrounded the set on all 4 sides with a thick 10’ x 10’  plastic tarp. We cut a small hole through the tarp for the camera lens to peek through into the set. The tests we did on the beer made shooting the squirting ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and hot sauce a cinch.

To capture the moment, we used a microphone attached to a device that would set off the strobes when the gun went off.  This device enabled us to delay the triggering of the strobes by increments of 1/1000 of a second so we could dial in the exact moment of the explosion we wanted to capture.

Creatively, I took a different approach with the condiments. The beer and light bulb explosions were a bit more literal.  For the condiments, I took the liberty to be a little more esoteric with these images, making playful alterations to the color palette.

Who knows what will be next. Exploding watermelons?”

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