About Kirlian

Kirlian Photography is a process that uses pulsed high voltage frequencies & electron cascades to take pictures of usually invisible, radiating energy fields that surround us all. Due to the nature of the Kirlian process only the hands or feet are photographed and not the whole body.

Semyon Kirlian discovered this fascinating photographic phenomenon in the 1930s back in the U.S.S.R. While servicing a high voltage machine with his wife Valentiana, he was accidentally exposed to a harmless electron cascade. A visible aura was seen around his hands which he later captured on film.


MrKirlianSemyon Kirlian was born in Yekaterinodar, now Krasnodar, Russia. Semyon Davidovich Kirlian – was a Russian inventor and researcher. He had the Russian, Armenian and Jewish blood, but always considered himself a Russian, spoke only Russian and patented his inventions only in Russian. In the 1930’s he popularized radiation field photography, presently known as Kirlian photography. Kirlian and his wife Valentina found that subjects placed within a generated high voltage electrical field, revealed an image surrounded by a bright luminous aura. Despite their enduring association with electro-photography they were not the first to discover this phenomenon.

Kirlian observed a connection between the pattern of an electrograph, physical conditions and psychological states. He suffered from a circulatory problem that gave him periodic bouts of pain in his legs. Prior to one of these painful episodes he noticed the radiation field around his hands took on a completely different shape and luminosity to usual.

He observed that this seemed to happen a few hours before he experienced any physical symptoms. This apparent coincidence left him wondering whether the electrograph was picking up something that was happening on an invisible level prior to it becoming apparent to his physical senses.

A number of times while demonstrating his equipment to important dignitaries and scientists he noticed that the electrograph images of his hands changed dramatically to when he was working on his own or with his wife. It soon became obvious to him that his nerves tended to get the better of him during these demonstrations and it was this apprehensive state that his equipment was revealing.  Personality states seemed to be linked with changes in energetic properties.

A Russian bio-physicist came up with the theory of bio-plasma to explain the Kirlian effect as it was called. Bio-plasma is explained as a stream of sub-atomic particles that move in and out of living tissue and it was claimed that it could reveal important information about life processes. 10 years prior to Kirlian’s discovery Russian embryologist Alexander Gurwitsch showed that living tissue released photon emissions in the UV range of the spectrum that showed significant correlations between biological and physiological functions. Later scientists Cohen, Popp and Yu Yan provided evidence of biological rhythms being associated with bio-photon or light emissions from the human body. They also noted that the integrity of the light emissions correlated with how sick or healthy a person was.

In 1777 Dr Lichtenberg, a professor of physics at the university at Gottingen in Germany built a large phosphorus-ionizing machine and demonstrated that discharges of static electricity could form complex fractal-like patterns in dust.

litchfig1In 1898, a Russian engineer Yakov Narkevich-Todko was reported to have produced electrographic photographs using something described as ‘quiet electrical discharges’. He made an apparatus that could induce luminous zones on the palms of the hands. His claim that he could influence the luminosity by thought attracted the attention of the parapsychologists but mainstream scientists dismissed the effect as nothing more than an electrostatic charge. Narkiewich’s discoveries were dismissed, as unreliable and subsequent funding was not made available for his research.

In 1907 Father Landel de Moura, a Brazilian Catholic priest and scientist invented a machine that could photograph energy fields, producing radiation field photographs. He called his invention a bio-electrographic machine. He developed a thesis of ‘Universal Harmony’ and ‘Unity and Physics Forces’ and believed that all bodies were encircled by a luminous coloured halo.

TeslaReadingNicoli Tesla (1846-1943), one of the pioneers of electricity, performed experiments in the early nineteenth century showing that a human being exposed to high frequency electro-magnetic fields produced a luminous glow that surrounded the body like a second skin. An observer noted that it was like the St Elmo’s fire of the maritime myths.

TeslJohn O’Neil, a friend and colleague of the eccentric Tesla, walked to the middle of the room when Nicoli gave him orders to turn out all the lights. He reports ‘The laboratory was in pitch darkness. A workman stood with his hand on the switch of the oscillator. “Now!” shouted Tesla. Instantly the great room was flooded with a brilliant but weird blue-white light and the tall slim figure of Tesla was seen in the middle of the room waving vigorously what seemed like two flaming swords. The two glass tubes he was holding glowed with an unearthly radiance, and he would parry and thrust them as if he were in a fencing match.”

The rigging of ships rubbing together created static charges that ionized the gases in the surrounding air causing St Elmo’s fire. The metal components of the rigging suspended the ball of electricity, keeping it in place like a ghostly glow until it disappeared as quickly as it had formed. Luminescence is a naturally occurring phenomenon in nature. It is a radiation sometimes visible to the naked eye. The visible spectrum is a very small window in the range of electromagnetic radiations.