Photos of Alternative Batteries Created with Fruits and Coins

Lamp powered by 300 live apples, 2012

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:

Vinegar Battery, 2011

Coin Battery, 2010

Fruit Battery Still Life (Citrus), 2012

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!

(via Colossal)

Image credits: Photographs by Caleb Charland

  • Jeremy Madore

    Portland, Maine – no “d” on the end, guys. Show some respect for my home state! :)

  • Jeremy Madore

    This is amazing stuff – potatoes, move aside! I’m a patient man, but this guy blows me out of the water…

  • caleb charland

    Thanks for the post! I’m making a new picture this fall on a 600 acre potato farm! Stay Tubed

  •!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    Really excellent stuff, Caleb! good to see some really creative experimentation going on =D

  • D.G. Brown

    I think this kind of photography has a lot of potential!

  • Mansgame

    Wait, he ruined 300 apples that could feed people to create a single crappy picture?

  • Tim

    Love it!

    Can we have some details on the coin battery please?

  • Tim

    There’s always one dick

  • Dude

    Wait, you used time and energy that could have been directed toward helping the poor and disadvantaged to log on to PetaPixel, find this post, and then make a snarky comment?

  • Jeremiah True

    Yes, yes he does. But it takes a long time because he needs to keep swapping fruit.