The History of Kirlian Photography

Kirlian Photography History - Semyon Kirlian

Where did this “Kirlian Photography” even come from?

In 1939, Russian engineer and inventor, Semyon Kirlian, unintentionally made the discovery of Kirlian photography. He realized that when an object touching a photographic plate is exposed to a high voltage, high frequency, low amperage pulse of electricity, a glowing image is produced.

Although, Kirlian discovered this form of contact print photography in 1939, he and his wife, Valentina, didn’t announce their experiments and findings to the public until around 1958. Even after the public announcement, most people didn’t really Kirlian Photographystart hearing about Kirlian photography or start gaining interest in this new art and science until 1970. It was then that his work was published in a book called, Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain, written by Shelia Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder. As the book rapidly grew in popularity, so did Kirlian’s method of electrophotography.

Well, then what happened?

His method eventually led to other similar techniques, like that of Konstantin Korotkov, who established Gas Discharge Visualization (GDV). Some medical institutions use the GDV camera for analysis and research. Others use the device for personal wellness and spiritual evaluation.

With the rise of Kirlian photography around the world, more and more controversial claims that this technique had supernatural ties began to surface. Though the topic has simmered down some, the mysteries and claims are still talked about today.

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