Worth A Thousand Words

A Special Picture

Fotograf Luke Evans über die Kombination aus Kopieren und Fotografieren.

The image above is printed with over half a million volts of electricity and forms part of my project Xero which brings xeroxing back to basics: electricity, toner powder and paper.

This is what static electricity looks like. The tendrils you see are called “Lichtenberg” figures, and each is utterly unique. Lots of factors affect their appearance — even the weather!

A high-voltage Van de Graaff generator is used to make a static electric field on a sheet of plastic, then it is dusted with toner powder, which is drawn to the electricity. I top it with a piece of paper, which is then run through a powerful press. The paper peels away and a hot iron “melts” the powder to it. It’s why photocopies are so warm when freshly printed.

I spent months building prototypes that just didn’t work, until finally I succeeded and it felt like it had all been worth it.

Foto: Private


Luke Evans is an artist and photographer, based in Herefordshire, UK. His work explores the underlying mechanics of photography and the intersection of science and art.