Notes From Inspiration

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Finding Galaxies in Macro Bullet Photos

The photos in Deborah Bay’s new photo series, The Big Bang, show otherworldly close-ups of bullets lodged in panels of plexiglass. For Bay, they recall images of nebulae and Big Bang explosions, but they are also blunt reminders of a bullet’s destructive force.

“Photography’s roots are so based in realism and I like to take it the other way,” says Bay. “I make an effort to take you into another place that is not quite so real, or maybe real in it’s own way. I aim to give you some food for thought.”

To get the close-up shots, Bay uses a macro lens and sometimes has to combine multiple images of the same bullet hole in order to get enough depth of field. The colors you see come from minerals in the gunpowder, or from colored lights and gels she uses in her studio.