Posts tagged ‘chemiluminescence’

December 15, 2010

glowing trails

by Megan Abbott

I just read a fascinating piece about photographer Angela Strassheim, who takes these haunting photos of homes where a crime occurred, frequently long ago.

The bright flashes in the photos are the result of  “chemiluminescence”–the reaction between Bluestar, a chemical reagent used by forensics specialists, and blood residue. The walls are long cleaned, but the chemiluminescence remains. Using long exposures, Strassheim captures what the naked eye can’t.

One forensics science expert interviewed in the article, however, isn’t convinced it’s blood that she’s capturing, noting that Bluestar also reacts to “other materials, such as bleach and … horseradish sauce.”

Somehow that last detail lingers the most with me. Something about the ordinariness (or not) of these scenes of extraordinary tumult and loss.

(Photo from Wired )