Robert Buelteman

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Photographer Robert Buelteman’s method has roots in Kirlian photography, a process from the 1930s that is also known as “electrography.” First Buelteman carves at his plant specimens with a scalpel until they are sheer and then places them atop a metal sheet in between Plexiglas, surrounded by liquid silicone. He then channels his inner mad-scientist and passes an electric current through the plant using a car battery. The electrons shoot from the metal and through the skeletons of the translucent plants and Buelteman catches them by painting with a fiber-optic cable. The cable captures the glowing strands of light pulsing through the plants, by emitting a beam of white light, about the size of a human hair. This image is then transferred onto film. The gas around the plants ionizes when the plant is shocked, spurring a mystical blue haze around the flowers. The process takes up to 150 tries to get an image right. He also uses a protective frame of wood around his easel to ensure the flowers are the only things getting electrocuted. And did we mention the whole process is done in complete darkness? We had to talk to Buelteman himself to hear more. Read more on his website: