Hiroshi SugimotoLightning Fields

Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Lightning Fields triangulate Benjamin Franklin and Michael Faraday’s pioneering electricity research with William Fox Talbot’s discovery of calotype photography. In this body of work, Sugimoto seeks to capture and re-create these momentous innovations in the darkroom. 

To create each image, Sugimoto uses a Van De Graaff 400,000-volt generator to apply an electrical charge directly onto film. The result in each case is a unique, instantaneous image of an electrical current, sometimes resembling a meteor shower, or a “treeing effect” on the film.