High-speed Photography





The CSIR’s Technology for Special Operations (TSO) has been using high-speed photography as a research tool, testing and evaluating, for example bulletproof glass.

High-speed photography is the science of taking photographs of events that happen extremely fast, such as explosions, car crashes, or bullets travelling through glass. By using high-speed photographic equipment, researchers are able to capture a clear image of a specific moment during an event, without losing quality because of motion blur. Being able to take a series of photographs in this way, researchers can follow the sequence of events, otherwise invisible to the human eye.

Chris Botha operates the CSIR owned Phantom V711 high-speed camera during test and evaluation exercises. A long-term evaluation project of TSO has been to look what happens to different types of bulletproof glass, when different types of ammunition hit the glass at various angles. By using a ‘gig’ rig, Botha designed himself, he can install almost any thickness bullet-proof glass, at various angles.

The Phantom V711 offers an extreme high dynamic range, providing detail in the very dark to very light areas. It can record up to 1,4 million frames per second, offering stunning visuals of what happens to the various elements involved in an event, such as a bullet and the glass it hits at various stages of impact.

Chris Botha