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Van De Graaff photo session 1
Shot at ~250mm at ISO 400, F5.6, ten seconds each. These sparks are between 6 and 8 inches long and are jumping to my forearm. The generator will produce brighter, shorter sparks or longer, dimmer ones. The dimmer ones are more lightning-like, with jagged channels and extensive branching. The branching is too faint to show up on the exposures, but is visible to the eyes. (Click on each photo to enlarge)
Crop of second image above (notice radial pattern at the spark contact points, similar to what lightning does at the ground):
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