Portland, Maine-based photographer Caleb Charland (whom we featured before) has a fascinating new series of science-based photos that show various alternative batteries created using things like apple trees and stacked coins. The photo above shows an experiment in which he powered a lamp using 300 apples in a Newburgh, Maine-orchard.
He spent 11 hours sticking zinc-coated galvanized nails and bare copper wires into the apples in order to generate current using the fruit. Every 10 apples provide about 5 volts. The lamp was successfully lit by the apple power, but was so dim that the photograph required a 4 hour exposure!
Charland tells Discovery Magazine:
I began installing the work at 9 in the morning. I had no frame of reference for how long the process would actually take. I didn’t want to start too early fearing I would get done too soon and potentially wear out the “batteries” before I could start my photographic exposure, thus wasting a lot of time and fruit. I worked all day and took no break, I was still wiring the orchard after sunset. I finished install at 8 pm then began my 4 hour exposure on photographic film. The final image was created using a large format camera that uses color film measuring 4×5 inches.
Here are some other images from the ongoing project:
Here’s a behind-the-scenes video showing how the tree battery photograph was done:
We love the way Charland combines his love of science with his love of photography!
Image credits: Photographs by Caleb Charland