I Photographed The Invisible Light That Plants Emit


I’ve photographed hundreds of glowing flowers since 2014 after seeing Oleksandr Holovachov’s work with ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence (UVIVF) photography.


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Each time I do a set of UVIVF photos, it starts with going out under the cover of darkness to snatch unsuspecting flowers growing around the neighborhood. I rarely know what to expect from a flower before I get it back to shoot. Some I think will dazzle end up flopping, and others I am surprised by their colors or light. Every one is a surprise!

In the same way a tee-shirt blue glows under a black light, most organic material glows at least a little with UV stimulation and in all kinds of colors. To make the most of it, I make sure I’m working in the darkest environment I can and use a 365nm light so the camera can’t see the UV light.

Any time the flowers are hit by sunlight, they’re letting off their own glow in response and it’s simply overwhelmed by the sunlight we can see. These photos capture something we always see, but never can observe.

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