Julius von Bismarck, a student from Berlin, has come up with a clever hack of his old Minolta SLR so that instead of capturing an image, it projects one. Dubbed the Image Fulgurator, it’s not just any old projector. It’s controlled by a sensor which syncs the projection with flashes from nearby cameras, making the projection all but invisible to the naked eye and visible only on the image of the flash photographer.
This post on Wired details Bismarck’s invention and some of its potential uses (and misuses). Of relevance to the travel photography site that you are currently reading, imagine you’re visiting a famous landmark and you want to take a few shots. Maybe it’s a little dark and you want to lighten things up with your flash, but when you look at your photos, all is not as it should be. Maybe there is an ad where a wall should be. That seems like the most likely scenario to me – that advertisers will try to get a hold of an Image Fulgurator and project their brands into your holiday snaps. Forgive me cynicism, but remember, if there is a vacant area available, it will eventually get an ad placed on it one way or the other.
Ads and pranks are the obvious uses for this invention, but a more productive use might be to use it for some special effects in photography. Depending on the kind of quality you can achieve, maybe you could use something like this in the studio to create backgrounds out of nothing. Maybe that’s a little ambitious for this early incarnation of the device, but the potential may be there.
Let’s just hope this never falls into the wrong hands!