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Talk about dedication! It took photographer Robert Buelteman 13 years to create these eye-popping images of electrocuted flowers.
He didn’t use a camera, but rather a painstaking photogram process involving plexiglas, silicone and 80,000 volts of electricity — a technique first developed in the 1930s by Russian inventor Semyon Kirlian.
First he whittles flowers down to transparency with a scalpel, and places them between color transparency film, a diffusion screen and sheet metal, all of which floats in liquid silicone sandwiched by plexiglas.
Then Buelteman shocks the prepared materials with 80,000 volts from an electric pulse, shooting electrons through the sheet metal and flower. Finally, he uses a hair-thin fiber optic flashlight to develop the image, leaving what Kirlian called the “aura,” or “life-force” of a living organism.
“I decided I wanted to approach photography as more of a full self-expression, without regard to realism or capturing images that are recognizable,” Buelteman told The Daily. “This world is about the world as sensed, it’s beyond description and beyond meaningful interpretation.”
Over Memorial Day weekend, we asked our friends on Instagram to submit photos of flowers blooming in their neighborhoods. Each photo was more gorgeous than the next — see for yourself by searching #TheDailyFlowers in Instagram — but we said we’d pick our favorites, so here they are. Congrats to @timcberry, @rachaellw, @natkg, @michaelclemente and @shereshe and thanks to everyone who participated. We’ll see you next weekend for another Instagram challenge!
We want to see what’s blooming in your neighborhood! Instagram a photo of flowers this weekend with the hashtag #TheDailyFlowers, and we’ll feature our favorites right here on Tuesday morning. Click for details.
Behind the scenes of our upcoming Mother’s Day video.
It’s the first official day of spring! We caught a glimpse of the pretty cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin in Washington D.C. embracing the season’s change. For the full 360 degree view click here.
Photo by Kris Connor for The Daily