Using a Transparent Discharge Plate

The transparent electrode may be used with a variety of High Voltage power supplies provided that it has an external HV lead to connect to the transparent electrode. We take the HV using an alligator clip wire connecting to the wire or copper electrode of the high voltage power supply and connect it to the tab of the transparent electrode.

Typically the camera is located on the opposite side of the working surface. Because the electrode is transparent, you can shoot through the electrode as if it were a pane of glass.

As an example, here is the procedure to shoot a leaf. In this example the leaf is at ground potential and the transparent electrode is at the HV potential. Make the set up in a room that can be made relatively light tight. The leaf is placed on a black non-reflecting, nonconductive surface. This improves background contrast. The transparent electrode is placed over the leaf. The thin plastic sheet side on the electrode is placed on the leaf. The leaf is connected to ground using by an alligator clip wire.

Arrangement

The camera is positioned over the assembly (see Figure above). The view through the camera should only show the object under the transparent electrode. This is accomplished with a close up lens (macro); a 4+ adapter or a reversing ring. The camera must be manually focused onto the object. If an auto-focus camera is being used set it to manual operation.

Open the aperture (f-stop) of the camera as wide as possible (2.0 or 2.4). If you are using a digital camera manually set the exposure to 10-20 seconds. If you are using a film camera, set the shutter to B (bulb) to make long timed exposures. With the shutter set to B, The shutter remains open as long as pressure is kept on the shutter. Using a shutter release cable attached to the camera will make taking pictures much easier. You can use any type of color film in the camera. I strongly advise using the fastest film available, either ISO 1000 or ISO 1600.

Manually focus the camera on the object with the room lights on. After the camera is focused, shut off all the room lights. Use a flashlight with a deep red filter to navigate around the room. When you are by the camera turn off the flashlight and open the shutter of the camera using the cable release. Now turn on the high voltage power supply. Keep the hv power supply for the length of the exposure you are making (10-20 seconds. Next release the shutter using the cable release. Turn on the room lights and set up your next picture.


Manual Kirlian Device

The technique is similar to the one mentioned above. Manually focus the camera on the object with the room lights on. After the camera is focused, shut off all the room lights. Use a flashlight with a deep red filter to navigate around the room. When you are by the camera turn off the flashlight and open the shutter of the camera using the cable release. Now pulse the switch on the manual Kirlian Device. Hit the switch 50 to 100 X to build up a strong image onto the film. Next release the shutter using the cable release. Turn on the room lights and set up your next picture.

One hint I'd like to pass along. If you are using a 35 mm film camera, start each roll of film with a few conventional pictures. This allows the photo-lab to align the frames properly on the machine. Tell the photo lab to print all frames, they may interpret the glowing outlines and corona discharges as picture errors and not print them.

The same technique described here for taking stills may also be used to film real time Kirlian video.

One may ground the object you are photographing in any number of ways. The grounding figures below illustrates two methods. The first illustration shows the ground wire directly attached to the object. When shooting like this many times the ground wire will be visible in the photograph. To remove the wire in the photograph I use the second method illustrated, a small hole is made in the black paper background. The ground wire is fed through the hole to touch the object being photographed. Resting the object on top of the ground wire, gives a nice black background and a ground for the object without any obtrusive wires. You may also use a small grounded copper plate in place of the wire as long as the object you are shooting makes contact with the plate through the hole of the black paper background.

Grounding Methods for Taking Kirlian Photographs