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Flowers were electrified with 80,000 volts of power to produce dazzling images of the natural world.

Story by Telegraph.co.uk

Robert Buelteman photographs the plant life while sending electricity through them.

The result shows roses, petunias, and even cannabis in astonishing detail.

It has taken the award-winning 55-year-old 10 years to produce just 80 photos.

Working in complete darkness, he begins by placing his chosen plant onto a metal board which he then passes the electrical surge through. He can even pinpoint areas where he wants to focus the charge using a wand and a simple car battery.

As his subject lights up with the current, and emits radiation invisible to the naked eye, intuitive Buelteman captured the moments by passing a fibre optic cable back-and-forth over the plant.

The cable emits a beam of white light that is just the size of a human hair and whatever the miniscule torch-beam touches, transfers the image onto film.

The blue haze that surrounds every leaf, petal and stalk is actually gases ionising around them as the plant is electronically shocked.

To explain the baffling process, Buelteman, from Montara, California, USA, uses a trusted analogy.

“You just have to imagine it like a painter creating a picture on canvass,” he said. “The plant is the subject just like the painter’s bowl of fruit or the person they are capturing. The electrified board I place the plants on is the canvass. The fibre optic cable emitting the light-beam is my paintbrush.

“Another way to try and understand it is like a normal photograph on a normal camera, except I am manually controlling the exposure by hand. In the same way the image I capture is simply burned onto film.”

To give the pictures an added dazzling effect, Buelteman’s aluminium canvass actually floats in liquid silicone. And to make sure he doesn’t get killed in the process, he erects a protective frame of wood around his easel.

But despite these being the first pictures of their kind in his profession, Buelteman says he has in fact invented nothing and uses a combination of age-old techniques developed decades ago.

Semyon Kirlian – developer of Kirlian photography – accidentally found in 1939 that it was possible to photograph electrical discharges at the edges of objects if that were being shocked on an electrified plate.

“When people see my work I want them to feel an awakening. The world is an amazing place and evolution has created some breathtaking things for us to look at. For me, art is about looking at the world and all it’s wonder in a new way, seeing something differently.”

Buelteman has written about the project and the techniques he uses in his book Signs of Life.

His works are being bought for a phenomenal five figures by art collectors.

By MELANIE DABOVICH, Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Guinness Book of World Records already has a largest hamburger designation on the books, but a southern New Mexico cafe is going for a spicier title: world’s largest green chile cheeseburger.

The burger, crafted by Peppers Cafe in Mesilla, features a 10-inch diameter, 1-pound burger, a half-pound of cheese and three green chiles all between two specially made buns, said restaurant owner C.W. “Buddy” Ritter.

“We sold 20 of them yesterday, and we’re very surprised they’re selling like they are,” Ritter said.

He said the cafe, which operates in the Double Eagle restaurant, sent an application to Guinness to make the burger the largest commercially available green chile cheeseburger in the world.

The $18.25 burger is made of aged beef, shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, Hatch-grown green chiles, pico de gallo and mayonnaise spread over toasted buns. Lettuce, tomato and onion accompany the burger.

Ritter said he and cafe manager Jerry Harrell came up with the idea for the burger while discussing improving menu items.

“It’s so good we didn’t know how to improve it, so the only thing I knew to do was make it bigger,” Ritter said.

Chile cheeseburgers have a following in New Mexico and are served at many hamburger joints in the Southwest.

“It’s a part of life here and if a burger place doesn’t serve green chile cheeseburgers they are going to be swamped for requests for it until they do,” said Jerry Wright, New Mexico Restaurant Association president and Albuquerque restaurant owner.

The Owl Cafe in San Antonio, N.M. has been serving their famous green chile cheeseburgers since 1945 and manager Cathy Soto said she doesn’t think she’ll have competition from the large burger.

“Everybody has a choice and everybody has their own customers. We’re famous for our green chile cheeseburger from all over the world, so there’s nothing we have to be worried about,” Soto said.

New Mexico’s Mesilla Valley is home to two other Guinness world records involving chile. The NuMex Big Jim, developed in Las Cruces, holds the record for longest chile pepper and Las Cruces restaurant owner Roberto Estrada created the biggest red chile enchilada.