Illustration for article titled Photography Through Electrocution

Robert Buelteman takes electrifying photographs, but he doesn't even use a camera. Instead, he places flowers directly onto film and shocks them with 80,000 volts.


His process is a refined, high art version of Kirlian Photography—a photographic technique popularized in the 1930s. Buelteman places a whittled, near translucent flower directly onto color film, then he sandwiches the subject between sheet metal and plexiglass—all of which is submerged in liquid silicone. Using jumper cables, the flower is pumped full of electricity which ionizes the surrounding air and leaves a glowing corona on the film (the blue outline).

Then, Buelteman "paints" the film with a single fiber optic strand, adding an almost divine white glow to the image (which can take as many as 150 attempts to execute perfectly).


Buelteman argues that without lens glass distorting colors, his flowers have an unparalleled chromatic accuracy. You can judge for yourself in his new book Signs of Life and read more on the story over at: [Wired]

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