Artist Uses Fruit and Vegetable-Batteries to Illuminate Long-Exposure Photographs

Caleb Charland’s photographic series Back to Light expands upon a classic grade school science project: the potato battery.

  • Orange Battery 2012
  • Fruit Battery Solar System 2014
  • Grapefruit and Pomelo Battery 2013
  • Apple Tree with Chandelier, Nettie Fox Farm, Newburgh, Maine 2013
  • Vinegar Batteries with Glassware and Shelf 2013
  • Electricity From a Ring of Apples 2013
  • Potato Power, LaJoie Growers LLC, Van Buren, Maine 2012
  • Fruit Battery Still Life (Citrus) 2012
  • Limes and Lemons 2013
  • Battery with Hanging Apples 2013
  • Apple Trees and LEDs 2011

Artist Caleb Charland’s photographic series Back to Light expands upon a classic grade school science project: the potato battery. The Bangor, Maine-based artist uses nails inside fruit connected with copper wire to create functional batteries, then uses long exposures to capture his illuminated subjects. Charland explains:

“The utter simplicity of this electrical phenomenon is endlessly fascinating for me. Many people have had the experience of drawing power from fruit in the classroom, and it never ceases to bring a smile to the face or a thought to the mind. This work speaks to a common curiosity we all have for how the world works as well as a global concern for the future of earth’s energy sources.”

Charland creates fascinating images of fruit galaxies, lamps connected to potatoes still growing in the ground, and chandeliers powered by apples still hanging from their branches.

Click through the gallery to view our favorite photographs from the Back to Light series, then head here to purchase an Orange Battery print for your kitchen.

All photos by Caleb Charland.

Apple Lamp 2014

Apple Lamp 2014


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