Photographer Sabine Pearlman has done some stunning work with her most recent project, appropriately titled AMMO.
Smithsonian.com interviewed Pearlman about her the work in Can Bullets Be Beautiful?
“The right to keep and bear arms is highly valued and widely practiced among a large portion of society,” she says. One of the main motivations behind her recent project AMMO—an exploration of rounds of ammunition, sliced cleanly in half—was catharsis. “It was a first step to conquer my own discomfort with the subject matter.”
For the project, Pearlman visited a World War II-era bunker owned by a Swiss munitions specialist and collector who owns more than 900 pieces of historical pieces if ammunition. Among the items on display were a mix of pre-World War II-era and modern cartridges that he’d cut in half. He and Pearlman used putty to affix the bottoms of the cartridges to pieces of cardboard, then carefully carried them over to a spot where she’d set up lights for the photo shoot, taking care to avoid dumping out the tightly packed gunpowder when they were moved. Then she snapped pictures.
The result is a clinical snapshot of the anatomy of the projectiles.
It’s a fascinating look at the intricate world of ammunition, and there are 900 shots in the entire collection, some of which Pearlman will be selling as fine art prints.