High-speed photography involves using the right equipment to capture fast-moving objects, people and things in a way that’s not otherwise possible. It’s often used for sports photography and other events that involve fast-moving moments, but some photographers put it to other uses too. 

Some of the coolest photographs we’ve seen involve some high-speed photo trickery to capture moments that would otherwise be missed. Things exploding in a variety of different ways seem to be the perfect subject matter and we’ve found a number of brilliant ones for you to enjoy. 

1/4Fabian Oefner

Coke can explosions

With the use of some high-speed photography equipment, a perfect studio setup and some cans of Coca-Cola, photographer Fabian Oefner created this high-speed gallery.

The cans you can see exploding are captured just as the pellet from an air gun pierces the surface and smashes through the other side. The resulting spray is pretty magnificent and so are the images. 

1/5Warren Keelan

Waves crashing

In photos similar to those you might see of surfers plummeting through waves, this collection of images includes some pretty spectacular high-speed images from the seaside. Waves crashing and breaking, curling and washing in all their magnificent glory. Photographer Warren Keelan knows how to capture the ocean at just the right moment. 

1/3Fabian Oefner

Exploding paint balloons

Some more brilliant photography work by Fabian Oefner involves paint covered balloons being exploded with a pin. These balloons were covered in multiple layers of acrylic paint leading to colourful results once they finally burst.

Thanks to snaps captured in milliseconds, we get to enjoy the full colourful glory of the paint bursting forth from the surface of the balloon. Another cracking high-speed photography example and a highlight of a talented artist. 

1/4Peter Schafrick

Paint soaked tools and toys

A lot of Peter Schafrick’s work generally involves commercial and product photography, but this artist is particularly multi-talented. Some of his high-speed photography includes work like this – where paint of varying colours has been applied to tools, toys and other objects before being spun with centrifugal force.

The results are colourful swirls of paint spinning out in every direction, a fantastic view and a brilliant example of what’s possible with this sort of photography. 

1/7Martin Klimas

Exploding figurines

These photos are quite possibly the most satisfying on our list. They’re also captured in clever ways too. The porcelain figurines are dropped from a height of three metres to their untimely death on the surface below. The sound of the shattering porcelain sets off the shutter to snap the photo and these are the results. 

It might be a tad destructive, but we’re big fans of Martin Klimas’ work

1/3Jack Long

Liquid flowers

As you can imagine, a great deal of planning and preparation went into these images. Jack Long used coloured water manipulated in just the right ways to create the illusion of flowers in bloom, the leaves of plants and even pots they’re growing in. The high-speed photography results in some impressive imagery that’s a tribute to all the effort this artist must have put in. 

Rachel SamanyiHigh speed photography image 1

A glass in a field

A brilliant summer’s day shot of a glass in a field captured by Rachel Samanyi. A simple image with brilliant results. 

Joe DyerHigh speed photography image 2

Mushroom cloud milk

Liquid is a common theme in these high-speed photos and often with terrific outcomes. We rarely get to see the results of something as simple as a droplet hitting a liquid surface and these snaps capture every tiny detail of the moment that would otherwise pass in the blink of an eye. This photo by Joe Dyer sees the results in the form of a milk mushroom cloud. 

StefanotshckiHigh speed photography image 3

Exploding egg

It’s an explosion! This image is the result of an egg being shot with an air rifle. The splattering of egg liquids from within almost gives the appearance of a double-yolker.

This photographer has experimented with high-speed photography a fair bit and created some incredible images for all to enjoy on their Flickr page. 

Rhi Ph0tographyHigh speed photography image 4

Peppers and water

This simple, yet pleasing image, is part of a series of high-speed photos of peppers breaking the surface of the water. The bubbles of the resulting impact and splash are seen in their full majesty thanks to this quick snap. 

WannaBEEfarmer JeffHigh speed photography image 5

Duck shot

This unfortunate rubber duckie was seemingly sacrificed in order to capture this simple shot at high-speed. We’re big fans of this image for how understated it is. Where most of the other photos on this list feature big and bold results, the destruction of the duck is far less noticeable, yet you can see the travel of the shot as it passes through his head. 

WarlooferHigh speed photography image 6

Brilliant bulbs

We’re a fan of high-speed destruction. This simple image of a bulb being broken by an air pellet is oddly satisfying and easy on the eye. Though we’re glad we don’t have to clear up the resulting mess. 

Joe DyerHigh speed photography image 7

Balls in a glass

Joe Dyer worked some high-speed photography magic with this image of clear water pearls being dropped into a Martini glass. The balls appear to defy gravity while also catching the light in brilliant ways. A fantastic image with brilliant results.