What is the easiest way of taking Kirlian pictures (photographic techniques used to capture the phenomenon of electrical coronal discharges)?

Kirlian photography, although the study of which can be traced back to the late 1700s, was officially invented in 1939 by Semyon Davidovitch Kirlian. The Kirlian photographic process reveals visible “auras” around the objects photographed. These photographs have been the subject of much myth and controversy over the years.

For clarification, I'm not concerned whether this is a digital or analog solution.

  • 2
    You've tagged this "digital photography" - are you looking for a digital way of doing this? If so, that doesn't exist - Kirlian photography is a reaction between the coronal discharge and the chemicals in the film, and so can't be replicated in the digital domain. – Philip Kendall Jun 9 '14 at 18:09
  • Thanks. I'm not limit only to digital, but I couldn't find any other appropriate tags for it. Which tag are you suggesting instead, there need to be at least one. – kenorb Jun 10 '14 at 8:46
  • I created a shiny new tag for you :-) It should even have a wiki summary when someone approves that. – Philip Kendall Jun 10 '14 at 10:34
  • Thanks:) I'm hoping this will encourge more questions about Kirlian photography. – kenorb Jun 10 '14 at 10:37

Since Kirlian photography in the proper sense is a technique that makes contact prints of objects directly on film without the use of lenses, it can not be done using a modern digital camera. The auras in Kirlian photos are caused by the reaction of the chemicals in the film to the electric current running through them. The same electric currents would not have a similar effect on a digital sensor viewing a scene through a lens from several feet away.

It is possible to use digital imaging devices to record the visible electrical discharge around flat objects if a transparent electrode plate is placed over the object and used for the positive charge.

  • 2
    One word: Photoshop :) – jwenting Jun 10 '14 at 11:52

Kirlian photograph is a high contact print photography. You can use a digital camera with a transparent discharge plate.

You can find equipment and additional information here:


and how to build your own equipment here:


  • It sounds a bit like you are associated with this website. If so, you need to declare this association. Within the stackexchange community we like to have at least a summary of any link that is included in the answer. – damned truths Dec 2 '15 at 22:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.