How to Photograph a Light Bulb Filament


Everyone likes to take a really cool photograph. But a particularly impressive trick is taking a picture of a burning light bulb filament.

Step 1

Take a light bulb, and carefully break the glass, making sure not to damage the filament inside. When you remove the glass, you release the argon inside and expose the filament to oxygen. This means that the next time you turn the bulb on, it will burn out almost instantly.

Step 2

Place an unplugged lamp in position for the photograph. Carefully screw in what's left of the light bulb.

Step 3

Set up your camera in position to take a series of high speed shots.

Step 4

Plug a power strip into the wall near the camera. With the lamp still unplugged, turn on the lamp switch.

Step 5

Stand ready with the lamp plug at the power strip, and then activate the camera. Immediately plug in the lamp. If you timed it right, one of the photos you took will have captured the filament lighting up before it burns out. Unplug the lamp.

Tips and Warnings

  • Only an adult should do this. Do not touch the filament while the lamp is plugged in, or you might electrocute yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Light Bulb
  • Lamp
  • Power Strip
  • Camera
Keywords: photo, light, bulb, filament

About this Author

Daniel Ketchum got a BA at East Carolina University and where he also attended graduate school. Later, he taught history and humanities. Ketchum is experienced in 2D and 3D graphic programs, including Photoshop, Poser, Hexagon and primarily writes on these topics. He is a contributor to sites like Renderosity and Animotions.

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