Photographer Caleb Charland Wires Apple Trees, Fruit Baskets and Stacked Coins to Create Alternative Batteries
Lamp powered by 300 live apples, 2012
Vinegar Battery, 2011
Fruit Battery Still Life (Citrus), 2012
Coin Battery, 2010
Portland, Maine-based photographer Caleb Charland frequently merges art and science with his photographic experiments involving electricity, fire, and magnetism. One of his ongoing projects involves a series of alternative power sources created using fruit, coins, and even vinegar to power the lights in his long exposure photographs. The apple photograph above involved a nearly 11-hour setup as he carefully hammered 300 zinc-coated galvanized nails into apples (zinc reacts with acid in the apples creating electricity, science!) and used copper wiring to transfer the current to a standard living room lamp. Even then, the light was so dim it required a 4-hour exposure during which Charland fended off ravenous deer through the night with an impromptu shaker made from a tin can and wire nuts. You can read much more about the ordeal over on Discover, and here’s a video of the entire project coming together.
Caleb recent launched a new website where you can access a few years of his photography, I strongly urge you to at least look at his Demonstrations gallery. He’ll also have a few prints in an upcoming group show at Brancolini Grimaldi in London this September.