Kirlian photography – a simple way of taking it

Kirlian photography is an interesting photographic technique of capturing corona discharge of objects. The images basically contain only edges in a form of blue glow. Note: one of those photos is visible in “The X files” intro – read the whole article to know why!

Kirlian photography

In this post I will present my minimalist approach with common materials and without complicated construction. The results aren’t that good as with more complex setups, but I think that they are still really interesting.


  • A camera with modifiable ISO and exposure time.
  • 10-30kV high voltage supply.
  • Tin foil. I used a foil in a form of adhesive strips because it’s easier to stick it to surfaces, but a regular one can be also used.
  • Small piece of glass.
  • Slats or other things to put everything in place.

Assembly instruction

The foil was stuck into one side of a glass and cut to fit to the edges of the glass. A cable was attached to the tin foil by using adhesive tape. The cable was connected to the ground of the power supply.

The photographed object was placed on the upper side of the glass, and high voltage wire was connected to it by using adhesive aluminium tape.

Plastic containers and slats (visible below) were used to make a construction where I could put the camera. The camera should be placed directly above photographed object.

There isn’t any protection against external light, so all photos were taken at night with lights turned off.

Camera settings

The image is mostly black, so it’s preferable to use the lowest possible ISO to avoid noises. From my observation, corona discharges are quite static (they don’t change theirs places), so it’s good to set the longest exposure time – images will contain more shapes. Camera should be set to taking photos of short distance objects.

All my images were made with ISO100 and 15s exposure.

Safety concerns

Despite the simple construction, taking those photos can be unsafe or even lethal due to high voltage that is used here. Don’t take photos of living objects (especially yourself or other people).

The detailed safety info is presented in my original article about building and using a high voltage supply.

Examples of photos

One of my first experiments – a picture of a leaf, regular and made by Kirlian photography.

A picture of a coin.

Paranormal aspect of Kirlian photography

Some people claims that aura can be observed by using this technique. Others claim that it’s not possible. I didn’t check it yet, but if you have any data, please share them in the comment section.

For more detail: Kirlian photography – a simple way of taking it

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