Tag Archives: Lightning

The Elemental Style of Hiroshi Sugimoto

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“Lightning Fields 236” photographed by Hiroshi Sugimoto (2009)


Bright streaks of crackling light slicing through the night sky can be so captivating.  The sheer force and power behind each rumble is a reminder of how small we truly are as cohabitants on this planet.  Whether lightning propels small children into the arms of their parents in the midst of a storm or fertilizes corn fields with its releases of sulfur into the atmosphere, it has been the source of inspiration to numerous inventors and innovators alike. To Japanese artist, Hiroshi Sugimoto, this energy became a scientific study captured on photographic dry plates.  Using a Van de Graaf generator as his power source, he generated 400,000 volts of electricity through various electrical and aqueous discharge devices, transmitted these impulses through a metal table and onto film.  The result was a simulation of lightning so vividly executed in the darkroom and beautifully archived on film in his elemental photographic series, “Lightning Fields.”  More of these stunning works and additional selections from his portfolio can be found at his site, http://www.sugimotohiroshi.com/portfolio.html.

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