The Strange
Kirlian Photography  The Strange

Kirlian photo of a leaf.
Kirlian photography is named after Semyon Kirlian, a hospital electrician from the Soviet Union, who in 1939 noticed a spark coming from a diathermy machine.  He wondered what would occur if he placed a photographic plate in the path of the spark.  The result was a photograph detailing the light image that was produced from the spark.  He and his wife, Valentina Kirlian,  began doing other experiments using this technique.
 

Kirlian Photography  is done by placing the object directly on a layer of film emulsion which is painted onto a piece of glass or plastic that is in direct contact with a metal plate.  The metal plate is connected to high voltage, high frequency electricity.  The voltage, phase, and frequency of the electricity is further modified to produce different effects.  There are other variations on this technique such as the use of two plates of metal, magnetic fields, ect.  The technique has also been adapted for use with video tape and movie film.

Kirlian Photography can be done with anything as the subject from plants to coins to human fingertips.  Many features that show up in the Kirlian photographs of plant life and animals cannot be explained.  Features such as bubbles in leafs and other things that are simply not there in "real life" There is also another thing that shows up which is known as the "corona discharge",  This is the aura of light that emanates from the edges of the subjects being photographed an is a complex reaction who's end result is a pattern of light that is picked up on the photographic emulsion.   While many scientists say that this corona is merely the effect of plasma that is channeled through and out of the object, many others believe it is the image of an aura or energy field which is said to emanate from all things living or inanimate.  One startling discovery that has been made is the "ghost" effect.  This is seen when a leaf is torn in half and one half of the leaf is placed on the film emulsion.  The resulting image shows the whole leaf.  Many say that the memory of the energy field of the leaf is still intact and shows up in the image.  This indeed seems to be a supernatural phenomena.

Much research and experimentation has proceeded on the subject.  The images from the fingertips of people who are intoxicated with alcohol are very different from those who are sober.  Further, people who have ingested stimulants such as caffeine, cocaine and amphetamines show a very subdued corona whereas people who have consumed depressants such as tranquilizers and barbiturates show a very large corona.  As a general rule, the more relaxed a person is, the bigger the corona that emanates from their fingertip.  Also when a finger is injured it shows a very bright and large corona compared to that of a healthy finger tip.  When a person is in a state of emotional stress or anger, the corona is usually bright orange to red in color.  A person who is in a calm state shows a corona that is a bright blue or white.

Research has also been done seeking applications for Kirlian Photography in medicine and industry.  Tiny fractures in metal objects that are not visible by any other means show up in Kirlian photographs.  Although a sick person has a much different corona that a healthy one, there are too many other factors that change the corona for Kirlian photography to be used as a medical diagnostic tool.  But experiments are still underway to find a use for Kirlian Photography in medicine and psychotherapy.



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