HowTo: Photograph an Atomic Bomb

Photograph an Atomic Bomb

George Yoshitake is one of the remaining living cameramen to have photographed the nuclear bomb. His documentation of the military detonation of hundreds of atom bombs from 1956 to 1962 reveals the truly chilling effect of the weapon. Below, images and explanatory captions via the New York Times. Don't miss the melting school bus. Creepy.

HowTo: Photograph an Atomic Bomb

Staff Sgt. John Kelly working at the government's Nevada test site in 1958 to photograph an atomic blast. He and his colleagues from the lookout mountain laboratory in Hollywood produced thousands of atomic movies.

HowTo: Photograph an Atomic Bomb

An exploding nuclear device can produce fiery heat of 10 million degrees. Here, the photographer captures the initial heating of the paint on a school bus.

HowTo: Photograph an Atomic Bomb

An instant later, smoke from the burning paint begins to rise.

HowTo: Photograph an Atomic Bomb

In a split second, the bus ignites.

HowTo: Photograph an Atomic Bomb

The explosion's blast wave then extinguishes the flames for a moment…

HowTo: Photograph an Atomic Bomb

before the bus again begins to burn…

HowTo: Photograph an Atomic Bomb

and smoke rises…

HowTo: Photograph an Atomic Bomb

as the school bus endures further blows.

HowTo: Photograph an Atomic Bomb

On June 5, 1952, a special camera with a shutter that worked incredibly fast captured this image of an exploding nuclear bomb, doing so an instant after the start of the explosion. The camera was located two miles from ground zero.

HowTo: Photograph an Atomic Bomb

The image of an exploding nuclear bomb in the very instant that the fireball begins to destroy the tower that holds the weapon aloft.

HowTo: Photograph an Atomic Bomb

The early stage of another nuclear blast captured by a special camera two miles from ground zero.

HowTo: Photograph an Atomic Bomb

In 1955 at the governments Nevada test site, a rising fireball dwarfs a crew of atomic cameramen. On the right are rocket plumes, which scientists studied as a way to gauge the progress of shock waves through the atmosphere.

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