Gone in a Split Second

2 February 2014

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There are moments when a photographer knows that they have almost no time to take a shot – and that in a second the opportunity will be lost forever.  Whether the moment is caught by skill, luck or sheer accident, the results can be breath-taking.  Here is a selection of amazing photographs which capture a moment otherwise gone in a split second.

Image Credit Flickr User John&Fish
This Taiwan Blue Magpie, taken at Yangmingshan, Taipei City did not appreciate this dog trespassing in its nesting areas. Needless to say, the plucky bird was perhaps mistaken in its attempt to shoo off the excitable intruder.

Images like this are not taken every day.  Once the skydiver is out of the plane he is not going to hang around for a photo opportunity.

This rocket was captured at the moment it failed - this train wreck in the sky took just a second to fall apart and this was caught by holding down the camera's motor drive, preserves the ignominious moment for posterity.

Image Credit Flickr User Illuminaut
Feeding of the pigeons at the Jain temple in Fort Cochin, India.

Image Credit Flickr User US DofD
An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113 breaks the sound barrier during an air power demonstration over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). It’s an amazing site – a cone of vapor appearing around an aircraft which is traveling at transonic speed. Known as the Prandtl–Glauert Singularity (read more on our feature here) this astonishing effect simultaneously widens the eyes and drops the jaw.

Image Credit Flickr User Dan Pancamo
Black Skimmers have a light graceful flight, with steady beats of their long wings. They feed usually in large flocks, flying low over the water surface with the lower mandible skimming the water (in order of importance, squadron leader first, as it were) for small fish, insects, crustaceans and molluscs caught by touch by day or especially at night.

Image Credit Flickr User TigresBlanco
Talking of water, everyone can take a picture of someone skiing.  It takes a super-fast eye to capture a spectacular entry like this, however.

Image Credit Flickr User US Army
At a zero angle of attack, better known as a “No Lift Dive,” This is Sergeant 1st Class Cheryl Stearns, from the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, holding her position to build enough air speed to execute the “style set” in a competitive amount of time.

Image Credit Flickr User DVIDSHUB
Of course it helps if you know that something spectacular is going to happen beforehand, but it is still easy for the shot to be ruined. Here more than 7200 pounds of unserviceable tank rounds, mortars and 1700 pounds of composition C-4 detonates near Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan.

Image Credit Flickr User kPluto
When you sell popcorn it can’t stick together and a quick shuffle normally keeps it separated. It takes some skill not go get it everywhere and is up and down in a second.

Image Credit Flickr User Dave Malkoff
Image Credit Flickr User sillar
These may not be the healthiest of snacks, but beggars can't be choosers.

Image Credit Flickr User Navdeep Raj
Some birds have to find their own food.  This eagle dropped its prey (fish flying - in the image) after the catch.... perhaps it should have stuck to something easier, though there can be mishaps even there.

Image Credit Flickr User Hamish Irvine
Image Credit Flickr User bobcatnorth
Big Pine Rapids is the second of 7 rapids on the section of the French River in Ontario, referred to as Five Mile Rapids. This is a very involved rapid with an eddy that needs to be grabbed before attempting the lower part. The whole rapid was run successfully by this two man team except for the bottom of the lowest portion – where this happened.

Image Credit Flickr User nukeit1
This was a house in New Ubaydi, Iraq in2005.  It contained a large weapons cache. So instead of risking it being booby trapped, the US army just blew the house with the help of five sticks of C4.

Image Credit Flickr User pwiwe
Image Credit Flickr User Rarvesen
Image Credit Flickr User Pieter Pierse
A controlled explosion is always a good opportunity to capture something that will not be seen again.  The above pictures show the Copenhagen gas tower which was built 1967 and was demolished in 2012.  The second is a bridge demolished with explosives in Marble Falls, Texas. The final picture in the set shows a frigate scuttled off the south coast of wellington, New Zealand, to become a living artificial reef and diving attraction.

Image Credit Flickr User Andrea Schwarm
This kid is about to get the shock of his young life, while another spectator can already see what's coming.

Image Credit Flickr User Bill Gracey
This bull is over 3 feet off the ground. You might be able to imagine what happened next.

Image Credit Flickr User Peter Ahlroos
The shot that most of us can only dream about. This illustrates the split second before an Icelandic geyser erupts. The white part is the steam forcing the water out.

First Image Credit Flickr User Micadew


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