Scientific Curiosity Captured in Photos

Caleb Charland is a Maine-based photographer who combines a love of scientific experiments and photographs into wonderful and amazing photographs. If Isaac Newton or Benjamin Franklin were into photography, their photographs might look something like these:

“Wooden Box with Horseshoe Magnet”

“Atomic Model”

“Demonstration with Hair Dryer and Aluminum Foil”

“Candle in a Vortex of Water”

“Fifteen Hours”

Regarding his work, Charland tells us,

Wonder is a state of mind somewhere between knowledge and uncertainty. It is the basis of my practice and results in images that are simultaneously familiar and strange. I utilize everyday objects and fundamental forces to illustrate experiences of wonder. Each photograph begins with a simple question “How would this look? Is that possible? What would happen if…?” and develops through a sculptural process of experimentation. As I explore the garage and search through the basement to solve these pictures, I find ways to exploit the mysterious qualities of these everyday objects and familiar materials.

To check out more of his work, you can visit his website.

Image credits: Photographs by Caleb Charland and used with permission.

  • brandon

    Just don't send your kids up in a balloon….

  • freya

    really neat pics! But the atomic model looks computer enhanced? I could be wrong, it just looks too clean! Could you explain the process of it? But the rest are just fantastic!

  • Rob Casey

    these are amazing

  • eletroniccigarettecigar

    I really enjoy outragous science like shown in these photos. In the one with candles in the background it kind of looks like a skelton bride looking at the candles. These photos are way awesome!

  • GRILLirious

    Some people just have a knack for talent.

  • Pingback: Somewhere between « Mungo()

  • Edith

    Wow, impressive.

  • vincent7520

    good stuff … 
    but what the hair dryer and aluminum foil is a demonstration of ?…


  • sean_blacklemon_co_za


    I'm curious as to how you took the second photo though (Atomic Theory). Is it just a slow shutter speed?

  • yuwa

    nice pics. specially the magnet, amazing isn it?

  • barichu

    jako lijepo

  • Sarah

    The magnet is definitely the best picture of science I have seen. I am not exactly a science geek so I don't really understand why the nails would react like that but this is intriguing.

  • Matina

    I really liked the candle in the vortex of water. You have to shoot fast to get that one!

  • david ohlinger
  • Pingback: - tot fotografia()

  • Pingback: Fotos artísticas representando fatos científicos |

  • wayne

    Found this site thru “Stumble!”. These pictures I would never have seen without the help of Stumble. Luv it!!!

  • ucti

    hahahahaha… and IF you do send your kids up in a ballon, do not call the local news!

  • Pingback: links « CONTEAZĂ()

  • greenmagnate

    Great photos…just stumbled this.

  • Emma C

    Stumbled upon this – Fabulous!

    Magnetism is amazing, would love to know how long it took you to set up. Candle in water is also stunning! Been sitting here for five minutes trying to figure it out.

  • quelling

    It seems to me that the last picture should be called “sixteen hours”. There are sixteen images which represent the candle not fifteen. Although the final occurrence of its expression is unlit by flame it is still a candle there. The wick is still there (although it might be impossible to relight), the wax is still there (although it is now incapable of assuming the shape of a cylinder).
    When we die we do not instantly vanish into nothingness. We are still here yet simply “unlit”.

  • carlosbetancourt29

    demaciado interesante!

  • erik jan schutten

    amazing we should have had them at school to help explain physics

  • dj

    These are beautiful, stunning images! I'm not sure what is happening with the hair dryer and the aluminum foil, though. Can someone explain the process to me?

  • steven

    if benjamin franklin and isaac newton were lazy arse photographers, and not scientists, we'd all be screwed…

  • bashirmalik

    Are you serious? Hell yes, you need to worry! Children's imaginations need to be crushed, or at least severely limited at an early age. You can contact a local correctional institute by looking in the yellow pages. Or it would actually be easier to just google it. Or, if you can't afford professional help, a few punches in the teeth usually does the trick.

    You're lucky you caught them at the “idea” stage. Praise Allah. Peace be with him.

  • Pingback: links for 2010-04-03 | Glorified Monkey()

  • Slap

    it doesn't taper, the melted wax slides down the sides of the candle and begin to form a taper. My guess is that it is uniform originally and exponentially more and more is added to the diameter, detracting from the suspected linear pattern. My guess at least.

  • Robinsh

    I think it's a great combination of scientific production and photography.

  • kytaren

    Bashirmalik, you are apparently a horrible parent. “Children's imaginations need to be crushed” or “a few punches in the teeth usually does the trick.” What kind of monster are you? Do you truly believe that? If so, I hope that you never have children because I, and every person who wants children to become happy, loving adults, would weep for their souls.

    Danzon09, jackbetall knows what he's talking about, let your daughters explore their creativity, but safely.

  • Pingback: Caleb Charland’s science art - machine quotidienne()

  • pyrocasto

    In a 15 hour burn time taking a shot every hour, you end up with 16 images. ;) Just like if you did a 1 hour burn time. 1 picture for the start, one at the end.

  • mariotherefined

    You seem like the kind of person that comes to there own conclusion out of nowhere, which usually is 99% correct, then you spout that bullshit to other people….for our future sake, your children and anyone in your life, keep your mind to yourself, no one needs that tunnel vision opinion. fyi every genius imagination, if you don't like that, EVERYTHING you use that is not a part of you body involved imagination.

    and yea, eventually people are going to get to the “ideas” stages, if anything better earlier then late, because if they pick up any bad habits, them being young you can correct it, but! nothing wrong with thinking outside of the box if that is where they are headed.

  • daisy19

    you have obviously completely missed the sarcasm and irony in bashirmalik's response

  • aquib91

    well, seeing as how the photographer himself said that it tapers toward the top, I'm guessing it tapers towards the top.

  • reggiebaccas

    or is it a talent for knick-knacks?

  • Pingback: Weekly Link Goodness « Girls Are Geeks()

  • thomasvesely

    scary,that the comment was read as serious,this part of the process is known as demonising the enemy.from the implied moslem such a remark seemed the magnet box.

  • mlm042010

    Just an amazing work done….
    Wonderful images of scientific experiments.

  • albieAlbie

    The hair dryer and aluminum foil looks like a hydrogen bomb test, and the resulting mushroom cloud and fireball produced when one splits atoms.

  • getman

    Get New Nike Mercurial here

  • Gady LaLa

    Clearly, *your* thinking outside the box does not include a sense of humor, or the concept of 'sarcasm'… and you truly should invest a moment in using a spell checker and proof reading before posting to critique someone. Not doing so only makes you seem just a bit too frothy about the oral cavity.

  • mariotherefined

    Lol, considering we are typing is it really that easy to spout out sarcasm? maybe you seen it enough to realize sarcasm or in your experience sarcasm is always the case for a statement like that, you considered maybe i have seen people who are that messed up? sure it is sarcasm in this case, but in my experience it usually is not, stay in your domain making comments about someone you don't know is called “diarrhea of the mouth”, my “comedy spectrum” is extremely huge lol. If i remember correctly I took 2×350 mg Vicodin that night, so judgment was not all that great, all in all woopsy! oh yea, is that spelling enough for you? no point telling someone they need to be perfect at something everyone is subject to(tools or not), especially people fast at typing who don't care lol.

  • Lee Graham

    Hey caleb,
    Where can I get a drill that produces atomic models like yours? Mine just makes holes. However, if the bit is dull and I misguidedly have the motor switched to reverse, well, the heat transfer model is beyond equal….
    GREAT images! Even greater models! If I throw something similar together at home or at work I'm told I have too much hands on my time ;-{>. Don't ever stop being creative with whatever you see art in.

  • pit

    That is awesome, I also found this great experiment video about a diet coke and mentos explosion in a microwave on youtube that was really entertaining. It is pretty near death as far as diet coke and mentos goes. It is at Take a peek, its worth it.

  • Pingback: Caleb Charland’s science art « The tech telecom and all()

  • Biff

    you are a fuckin nutjob

  • bigmike

    I agree… really wonderful work and experiments

  • Energy conservation

    Love 'em all, but the horseshoe magnet defying gravity is really cool. Candle in water vortex is cool, too.