I first became interested in trying my hand at recording sparks when I noticed some intriguing static discharges recorded on old X-ray films. I knew that these patterns were sometimes captured on film as a result of static electricity, but I had no idea that they had such a rich history and played a significant role in the understanding of electricity. By 2008, I had conducted some promising experiments with X-ray film.
The recording of the patterns made by static electricity date back to the invention of the technique in 1777 by Georg Lichtenberg. Since he was the first to observe the patterns, they are referred to as Lichtenberg figures.