Julius von Bismarck has invented one of the coolest little devices I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a flash projector gun – a flash mounted behind a slide (sitting inside a camera body) which flash-projects at the same instant as an unsuspecting tourist takes a picture. The snap-shot photographer fires off a camera with flash, which triggers the Fulgurator to instantly project an image – modern flashes can be used as triggers for other flashes, it’s one way that studios sync up their flash systems.
For coolness reasons (I assume), the thing is shaped like a gun.
Anyway, there are obvious motifs, like the Reichstag building in Berlin, for example. Well, when a tourist takes a picture of that building at dusk, their automated cameras often try to use their little built-in flash – which results in crappy dark pictures, by the way. But the Fulgurator gets triggered by this little flash, and projects an image on the building… a burning window, for instance. So when a tourist looks at the digital image on the back of the camera, or later at home on a computer, the image will be different than what was really there.
Like many Berliners who are creatively-socially-politically active, Herr von Bismarck seems to lack the humor gene, but his project deserves kudos nonetheless. What I particularly admire is that he has chosen to patent this technology, to ensure that over-eager marketers don’t use it to project product advertisement into people’s holiday snaps… and being a von Bismarck, he may figure out at some point that poverty is overrated, and then he can still sell his technology when he grows up.
Here’s an assembly diagram:
…and finally, Herr von Bismarck himself, in action with the Fulgurator: