Under the constraints I impose on myself, nothing is simulated, edited, collaged: everything must be real. And so I build apparatus to shape electric and magnetic fields, fluid jets, smoke rings, soap films, and lightning arcs to orchestrate the forces and phenomena I am interested in.
I am currently working on a photo series called “Electrified Flowers of Hawaii”, in which the exotic flora of the island of Hawaii is photographed in a technique of unprecedented detail and illumination. Lightning bolts of several megawatts power, and a quarter million volts, are applied around gorgeous leaves and flowers, and the resulting arc paths recorded on incredibly detailed 4×5″ analog film.
Another body of work, begun during my artist residency at Autodesk in Spring 2015, is a novel portfolio of soap bubbles being perturbed by air and water jets, and electric fields.
To make these photographs I studied high voltage physics and built a personal lightning machine. It produces incredibly brilliant lightning at potentials of up to a quarter-million volts. I have also built a triggered spark gap and optical slave trigger circuit so this lightning machine can be commanded to issue it’s burst at a precise moment.
Another alternative photographic technique which, to my knowledge, is of my own invention, is a method of recording transient and often complex flow patterns in fluid media:
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KICKSTARTER: Electrified Flowers of Hawaii
FACEBOOK: Electrified Flowers of Hawaii