The publishers of the book, The George Eastman House Collection: A History of Photography from 1839 to the Present, chose a cover photo that assured that even the casual passerby would back up for a second look. (It worked that way on me, I bought this essential survey after spying its cover in a gallery shop.) Harold E. Edgerton's iconic stop-motion photograph .30 Bullet Piercing an Apple, 1964, captures the moment a bullet exits the stabilised apple it was shot into. (Surprisingly, the photograph revealed simultaneous explosions at both the entry and exit points before the fruit collapsed completely.) Bold in colour, contrast, and composition, Edgerton made the picture as a scientific exploration; the striking beauty of the image was a side-effect that didn't really interest the engineer, a professor at MIT.
Edgerton was able to freeze these remarkable moving moments thanks to his experimentation with flash tubes as a graduate student. Using xenon gas, he discovered that his tubes could produce high-intensity bursts of light as short as 1/1,000,000 second. Edgerton’s tube remains the basic flash device used in still photography, and it was found that the xenon flash could also emit repeated bursts of light at regular and very brief intervals, proving to be an effective stroboscope. His "How to Make Applesauce" image - that's how the good-humoured Edgerton named his lecture on the topic - was created when the strobe was triggered by the sound wave of the bullet.
You can view more of Edgerton's incredible frozen-in-time pictures that he made using his strobe flash method here
Today's (additional) designskool lesson: One of the earliest and most accomplished photographs was one made for scientific recording purposes. In 1840, the first detailed picture of the full moon was made by Dr. J. W. Draper, an English-American scientist, philosopher, physician, chemist, historian and photographer. Louis Daguerre, creator of the first publicly recognised photographic process, the 'daguerreotype', had previously photographed the crescent moon. All of these were considered the first astrophotographs. Dr. Draper was also the first person to make clear photographs of the human face, notably of his assistant, his sister Dorothy Catherine, using a 65-second exposure in sunlight. He was able to make portrait photography possible by improving upon Daguerre's process.