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How to Photograph an Atomic Bomb


I was at a dinner last night when someone, a customer of AbeBooks actually, told me about this book. I thought he was joking. How to Photograph an Atomic Bomb by Peter Kuran was published in 2007.  It’s a serious book about photography and the technical aspects of photographing an atomic bomb while exploding. Author Peter Kuran spent 10 years researching the book, using declassified photographs from US atomic weapons tests conducted between 1945 and 1963.

Kuran’s collection ranges from bomb blueprints to jarring juxtapositions of atomic explosions framed peaceful palm trees, taken during the 1946 experiments at the Bikini Atoll. Apparently, the most graphic images display houses being destroyed. There are also images of unfortunate photographers wearing oxygen masks, retrieving contaminated cameras after an explosion. This YouTube trailer shows what you will find inside the book.

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