Call him a mad scientist. Call him weird. Call him crazy. But don’t call him boring. American photographer Robert Buelteman sets himself apart from other nature photographers by shocking flowers and other plants with thousands of electric volts to create these glowing images. Kids, please do not try this at home.
Robert uses a process called “electrography.” Amazingly, these images are done without the use of a camera, lenses or computers. He would carve into the flowers until they are translucent and place them on a metal sheet in between Plexiglass, along with liquid silicone. Then like some crazy, mad scientist, he uses a car battery to shock the flowers. Electricity travels through the veins of the plant and he captures the glowing light with a fiber-optic cable. And eventually, the image is transferred onto film.
As a precaution, he uses a frame of wood around his easel to keep him and the rest of his things safe.
As crazy as he might seem, he is definitely a passionate photographer. The process is a lengthy and challenging one! It can take up to 150 tries to get one successful image. The results are electrifying, to say the least! The flowers look unreal and a bit eerie, almost as if the glowing effect was created artificially through a photo-manipulation program.
Over the span of eight years of so, he has created 80 beautiful images.
You can see more of Robert Buelteman’s work here:
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- X-Ray Flowers (funflowerfacts.com)