Worth a Thousand words

A Special Picture

Ken Hermann on photography with a bang.

Ken Hermann

I have always been fascinated by explosions. This was true even when I was a young boy, and it’s stayed with me to this day—the difference now is that I’ve made a career of photographing them. I’ve taken more than fifty such photos as part of various projects. The special thing about it is being able to capture the moment when the energy of the detonation becomes visible.

For my most recent project, which resulted in the photo you see here, I hired a professional pyrotechnician. He used gunpowder and kerosene to produce the explosive effects. The explosions took place far away from anything flammable. I was waiting with my medium-format camera and a flash mount-ed on a tripod a few meters away. I really had to keep my concentration focused. Because it was loud. Very loud.


Ken Hermann from Denmark, is a photographer who investigates the fragile balance between people and their environment, among other things.