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Kirlian photographs are created by passing a high-voltage electric current through the film while something or someone presses against it. The electrical discharge from the photographic subject "takes its own picture" in a colorful emination that is reminiscent of an aura. Since Kirlian photography was discovered in 1939, a lively debate as to what is actually seen has ensued.
The Russian innovators Semyon and Valentina Kirlian proposed that what is being revealed is a living energy field. Some healers of the mind and body have found a correlation between a person's state and the energy patterns recorded. In some photographs, broken leaves appear whole again. In others, energy seems to pour out of finger tips.
The many factors that contribute to variations in the image, such as humidity, persperation, skin resistence, and exposure time, have made it difficult for scientists to validate that anything more unusual than these influences are responsible for the apparent window to the bioenergetic field.
The secret liveliness of this hauntingly beautiful photographic process still has its subtleties guarded by uncertainty and mystery.
View a Light Show of Kirlian Photography.