Kirlian Photography Device

Discussion in 'Lo-Fi Cameras' started by gr82bart, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. gr82bart

    gr82bart Member

    Messages:
    5,271
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  2. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,824
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Really cool. Someday when I can afford it.....
     
  3. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

    Messages:
    1,063
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Location:
    Westport, MA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    That is pretty cool indeed. I have to admit, at first I thought it was that guy from the 70s who could think of an image and hold the camera up to his head..
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,311
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  5. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,106
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Wayne,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    It is $300, not really a lot if you'd have a serious interest in that technique. Thats less money than most lenses we own cost new. I'm surprised that they aren't trying to charge $3000 for it. Seems like everything in photography these days is sold at outrageous prices.
     
  6. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,824
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I'm not complaining about the price. I'm complaining about the pestilence upon this land. Nothing is sacred. Even the buyers and arrangers of shrubbery are under considerable economic stress in this period of history.

    In other words, I think the price is great. I just can't personally afford it.
     
  7. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,106
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Wayne,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I understand that. This country's economy is dying. I've been having a hard time too, especially since my son has come to live with me full time. I was never able to find a job after college (I have a BFA from Indiana University, 1999), and have only recently began making enough money to live without having to live with my parents or with friends, and now things are getting worse again. I think if I had stayed in New Mexico things wouldn't have been so bad, here in Indiana artists and educated people of any kind are not welcome and are unemployable except in the few fields like Medicine, Law, and Accounting where the law requires a university degree. I have a friend who graduated from Purdue a year ago and has applied for over 200 jobs. He hasn't gotten a single interview.
     
  8. epatsellis

    epatsellis Member

    Messages:
    907
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Chris, welcome to the midwest, I'd say you've hit the nail on the head. Sadly, escaping is particularly difficult as well.
     
  9. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

    Messages:
    1,873
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I think for christmas/my birthday I'm going to try to build one of these. There are a few diagrams/plans for similar devices on the internet but obviously you must be careful using them as they're very high voltage.
     
  10. chriscrawfordphoto

    chriscrawfordphoto Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,106
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Wayne,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Yep. I was born here and escaped to Santa Fe. Unfortunately I had to leave behind my son, who lived with his mother. I moved back to here because of him. His mother has psychiatric problems and has been hospitalized for several months, so my son is living with me now. I´ve made almost nothing in Indiana since I moved back, but some clients from New Mexico have continued sending me work so I´m actually doing better than I did before I left Indiana several years ago.
     
  11. DaveOttawa

    DaveOttawa Member

    Messages:
    284
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Ottawa, Cana
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    What a coincidence, I found one of these things lying around in the darkroom where I teach last week, it was an older version in a wooden box not plastic. Now I know what it it's for. Not quite sure how you use it to take a picture of your hand without getting a high voltage shock though, anyone tried this technique?
     
  12. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    11,171
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    Actually it is useful to let the human hand act as counterelectrode.

    Without a counterelectrode the current would run capacitively from the primary electrode and the isolator into the object, and from there the path for the current to reenter into the system via the ground is hard to imagine for an object lying on top of the isolator. For a hand it even could be harmful in the worst scenario.

    However, with a counterelectrode the path of current is under controll. This counterelectrode is fixed to the object. In case of a hand, to the human body.



    The Kirlian System uses not only high voltages (in the kV range), but also high frequencies (in the kHz range). Frequencies of that range are not harmful to the heart and nervous system. However there remains the thermal effect and a sensory effect. To counteract these, a protective resistor (in the MOhm range) is to be inserted into the counterelectrode wiring.

    (I hope I got it right so far...)
     
  13. DarkroomDan

    DarkroomDan Subscriber

    Messages:
    239
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    Enumclaw, WA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    In the mid 70's I took a workshop in Kirlian photography. We built a device that consisted a piezoelectric device like the igniter on a gas grill - if I remember correctly, that is exactly what it was. When the plunger is pushed a crystal is struck and creates a high voltage, high frequency, very low amperage electrical charge. the device is mounted to a board and connected to a piece of metal (about 5x7) also mounted on the board. To use the device one would place 4x5 film on the metal plate and an object on top of the film. One would then push the plunger one or more times to make the exposure. obviously, this is done in the dark or with ortho film under the appropriate safe light. I only used Tri-X. I still have the one I made and am pretty sure I even have the notes from the workshop. I haven't used it in maybe 30 years or so.

    This device is a lot less sophisticated than the commercial model listed at the start of this thread and it operates at much lower power but, if you have an old grill that you can scrounge an igniter from, a scrap piece of wood, and a soda can that can be cut to form the metal plate, you can make one for free.
     
  14. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser

    Messages:
    2,382
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2006
    Location:
    Cleveland, O
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Popular Photography descamed this scam artist a long time ago. Serios created images by laying his hands on the camera. Pop Photo gave him a camera with a 15mm lens on it -- he was expecting a 50 -- and got clear pictures of him palming a small slide viewer that he put against the camera lens to create his 'psychic images'.

    It seems people still swallow this shite.
     
  15. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

    Messages:
    1,063
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Location:
    Westport, MA
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Actually, replacement igniters are about $12 at Lowes or Home Depot/ACE, etc. Last time I bought one was 8+ years ago but it went in a potato cannon.
    Thanks for the heads up though, I like the cheaper route!
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,311
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    scam or not a scam
    the images he created ( and his sons )
    are pretty cool just the same ...

    not really swallowing anything, just interested in the imagery ..
     
  17. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

    Messages:
    1,873
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Thank you for this. I've been playing all evening with some ortho film. I bought a little handheld gas peizo lighter for my hobs so I'd stop using matches but the spark is at an awkward place so I stopped trying to use it. Now I've blu-tacked a bit of wire to it, blutacked the wire to a piece of brass sheet I have around so I can try to make pinholes... Has more than enough power for coins, only has enough power for a finger tip but you can do multiple exposures anyway. I'll post some scans of the ortho film once it's dried.
     
  18. DarkroomDan

    DarkroomDan Subscriber

    Messages:
    239
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2003
    Location:
    Enumclaw, WA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You are welcome. I think you will find you can increase the power a bit by making a better connection. Rather than bluetack try wrapping the wire around a screw or bolt and nut through the metal plate. If you have the means, soldering it would be good. Pushing the plunger multiple times for the same exposure will also increase the effect. I remember doing coins and a finger when I used mine. I don't remember what else I used but believe I did do a leaf and the effect changed as the leaf got dryer.

    I believe I still have my device, my workshop and work notes and prints. I will try to find them this weekend. If I find them (I actually think I know where they are) and I come up with any useful information, I will post it.

    Dan
     
  19. rcovingt

    rcovingt Member

    Messages:
    139
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    Location:
    Treasure Coa
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Art---great device--thanks for the heads up

    Robert
     
  20. Akki14

    Akki14 Member

    Messages:
    1,873
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    London, UK
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I'll try to tighten up the connections. I can see some arcing along the wire so I might have damaged the wire a bit in places and it needs a good wrap of insulating tape. I was going to solder but my husband informed me that he didn't have a soldering iron after all (I thought I had seen it in the toolbox but apparently I imagined it).

    I posted some of my results to the apug gallery. Just scans of the ortho litho film. Sometime I'll contact print them so they look more ghostly and glowing in the positive :smile:
     
  21. Alexander Ghaffari

    Alexander Ghaffari Member

    Messages:
    224
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Location:
    Cincinnati,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Yup, I plan to try some of this in the near future for under $5...just need a piece of sheet film, some electrical stuff, and developing. We discussed this in university physics lab, but it was a boring lecture.