Brian Shrader's Siteseeing Blog

High-voltage photography

Posted July 6, 2009 6:49 a.m. EDT
Updated July 6, 2009 8:45 a.m. EDT

It sounds like a dream.

There's this guy, and he had some translucent plants.  He puts it on a piece of sheet metal and shoots 80,000 volts through it while taking a picture.  Well, here are the details from Wired magazine:

Buelteman begins by painstakingly whittling down flowers, leaves, sprigs, and twigs with a scalpel until they're translucent. He then lays each specimen on color transparency film and, for a more detailed effect, covers it with a diffusion screen. This assemblage is placed on his "easel"—a piece of sheet metal sandwiched between Plexiglas, floating in liquid silicone. Buelteman hits everything with an electric pulse and the electrons do a dance as they leap from the sheet metal, through the silicone and the plant (and hopefully not through him), while heading back out the jumper cables. In that moment, the gas surrounding the subject is ionized, leaving behind ethereal coronas. He then hand-paints the result with white light shining through an optical fiber the width of a human hair, a process so tricky each image can take up to 150 attempts.

And here are the results.

About this Blog:

WRAL's Brian Shrader blogs about cool video clips and other interesting Web sites. If you have any video you would like to share, please let us know.