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Use the Site Index of Projects page link above for an easier way to find stuff on my blog that you might be looking for!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

How to do Schlieren Photography at home

A few people have emailed me and asked about the setup that I use for taking Schlieren pictures. In the Site Index of Projects link there are links to all the posts that I have done explaining what I did to make the pictures. But I suppose that pictures (or videos) can speak a 1000 words as they say so I decided to make a video that shown what my setup looks like.

With that in mind I made a video and is linked to below explaining in better detail how I go about taking these pictures and making the videos. If any of it doesn't make sense please email me at or leave a comment and I'll be happy to explain whatever it is that isn't clear.
There are some really good sites with lots of information about how Schlieren photography works like HERE. Also if you are going to make a pin point light source like the one I use you should go to the source HERE of how I went about making mine!
Below is the video that I made with what I hope is a decent explanation of what is going on in my garage when I make these pictures. A quick Google search will show that there are a lot of more experienced and talented folks out there (with better equipment!) doing this type of photography so have a look st what they are doing too!
I hope that the video and the links on my Site Index of Projects explains everything. If not let me know!


  1. Dear Mr. Belden: I need to have a woodworking lathe and being short of funds obviously decided to DIY one. Went to internet to get some inspiration and found your blogpost. The mechanical parts of your lathe seem fairly easy to built, but the electrical parts are not¡. (That shows you that electrically I am almost analphabet). If you are kind enough to spare a few minutes of your time and answer a couple of questions, I`ll appreciate it.
    1)Why a DC motor? (Obviously you had one around and is free¡¡¡ right) I suppose the other answer is the speed can be controlled. Right?
    2)What is the HP of the motor?
    3)Can an AC motor be speed controlled and/or reverse?
    Thank you for your attention.
    Valentin Bezugly
    City: Acarigua

  2. Valentin,

    Thanks for checking out my blog, I'm glad you found the information useful.
    In answer to your questions:
    1) I used a DC motor because I had it :-) and also it was easier for me to control the speed.
    2) I'm not sure of the HP but I believe it's 1/2 HP or maybe 1/4.
    3) AC motors can be controlled for speed and direction. There are solid state controllers for doing that or you can use a pulley and belt setup.
    Be careful! Rotating stuff and high voltages can be dangerous.
    Good luck with your project and let me know if you have any more questions!
    - Otto