You have seen those amazing photos with the lightning bolts shooting out of everyday objects. Now it is your turn to learn how to make these pictures

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Step 1: Danger!!!!

Warning this project involves extremely high voltages. I am not liable for any damages you cause to other people or yourself. SO have fun and be careful

Step 2: What you need

Picture of What you need
For this project you will need:

To Buy:

Sheet Metal, Mine was 12x18 but you can go larger or smaller if you want ($5)
Page protectors ($3 for 100)
Speaker wire($5 for 100 feet)
Rigid Copper Wire(Depends on where you buy it, 1foot should only be a couple cents, you need 3)
Neon Sign Transformer($25 on eBay)

What you need to take the photo:

Digital camera that can take a long exposure (10 seconds minimum)
Small metal objects, or you can dip plastic items in salt water.

Total costs: about $35 but if you use a flyback transformer or other high voltage source it will be cheaper...
mfredrick2 years ago
I am sorry... To me,...... this is NOT KIRLIAN photograpgy at all. But more of taking pics of static elect. and then photoshoping something into the pic..... .Kirlian is the takiing of photo's of aura. the NATURAL static discharge of objects. No superimposing or photoshoping or layering........That is to say.....To me....
tat2duck3 years ago
I think this post-processing method would yield better results. I think that if you create a silhouette cutout of the 'item' out of foil you can use that to generate the effect. Then take a second shot of the 'real' object and layer them together. It will definitely give you better control over the process and avoid conductivity and shorting issues.

Of course this is just speculation on my part as I have yet to try this experiment.
Just wondering: Neon sign transformers output AC, right? If so, what is the difference between the positive and negative outputs?
Neon transformers are AC. There are two hot wires and a center tap which is normally connected to neutral or ground. There is no positive or negative. You could use a high voltage rectifier if you want DC.
Noblenutria4 years ago
 I see kirlian photography of peoples hands all the time.  How is that possible?  This one would short circuit your heart, as you said.
Hook the HOT wire to the conductive side of ITO glass, or to an electrode immersed in salt water, between two pieces of glass: This is thousands of volts, so you are a good enough ground just standing there.
That is ether a different type or someone else's hand (Still dangerous, probably kill the hand muscles) or a hand shaped plate. There is a type that only images the electric field you make by existing.
i love messing around with my flyback looking at corona discharge and soforth once your eyes are completely adjusted to the dark its really neat cool pics you should put more do you know of any other good insulates to use
Slick36 (author)  The 4th Doctor5 years ago
Other insulaters that work but burn up really quickly are plastic ziplock bags set on the metal...
CameronSS5 years ago
Try doing some closeup pictures of coins, those always look cool. Looks good!
Slick36 (author)  CameronSS5 years ago
I already have taken some of coins, see! well this is three together, i have like 300 different pictures
Nice! I wish I could find a larger transformer...
Slick36 (author)  CameronSS5 years ago
Search ebay thats where i got mine (7.5KV at 30MA) works well and was cheap only $25
I'd prefer the dumpster model. ;-)
Slick36 (author)  CameronSS5 years ago
Pazzerz5 years ago
Instead of holding the two wires together, use a knife switch, like the ones in the Frankenstein movies. The contacts are far enough apart to keep the higher voltage from jumping.
Slick36 (author)  Pazzerz5 years ago
I think you misunderstood, you are only holding the positive wire, the other wire (the negative one) is going to the discharge plate. You touch the positive wire to the metal part of your object and the page protector is under it. unless you meant turning the transformer on and off because then you would use a switch on the 110 volt line not the 7.5kv line because A) you would be wasting electricity B) the switch would arc at a certain point and C) the transformer would be always shorted out which is not great for it
Pazzerz Slick365 years ago
I see your point, though you COULD use a clip in many cases (I think), or a levered arm that rests on the object.
Slick36 (author)  Pazzerz5 years ago
ya what i sometimes do is take really thin wire and set it under the object and then connect the wire to the positive terminal so you don't have to touch it and screw it up in like really complicated pictures
Pazzerz5 years ago
Here's a good project to try... take a photograph of someone, like your favorite girlfriend, and cut out her profile from the picture. Use it as a template to cut a piece of foil. Take the Kirlian photo of the foil and place it as the background to your original photo. The electrifying woman.
Slick36 (author)  Pazzerz5 years ago
good idea!
Awesome, im gonna try this