Here at Tony Hakim, we’re interested in all types of photography. One unusual technique that has caught our attention is known as Kirlian photography. This involves capturing an image of an object’s ‘aura’.
This type of photography was invented in 1939 by Semyon Davidovitch Kirlian. It involves placing a sheet of photographic film on top of a metal plate. Once in place, an object is put on top of the film and a high voltage current is applied to the metal. The electrical reaction between the object and the plate is then captured on film.
Kirlian believed that this technique resulted in an image of the object’s aura or life-force. He believed that these photographs could be used to predict emotional states and even diagnose illnesses. It was also used in the 60s and 70s for research into telepathy. This was because of the theory that telepathy occurred when people’s auras were communicating with one another.
The actual reason for the aura-like light that forms around the image in these photos is water. The air around the object becomes ionized because of the high voltage frequency. If there is any water in this air, the image will show a glowing silhouette called a ‘corona plasma discharge’. Images taken of sweaty hands will have a much larger and more intense glow than someone with a dry hand. The angle of the object and the amount of voltage can also have an effect on the Kirlian image. When the image is taken in a vacuum, there is no Kirlian image due to the lack of water.
So although these photographs look pretty amazing, and as much as we at Tony Hakim would like to get a picture of our individual auras, it is not so.