How to make your standard night time christmas tree picture:
DSLR on a tripod in long exposure mode... Check.
Flash to light up my santa clause suit... Check.
Tesla coil to light up the christmas tree... What?
From Wired's online article about Peter Terren:
Terren stands beside his holiday display. To make it, he prepared a wire structure outlining the tree and star. Since sparks tend to stay in one place, the tree can't be lit up with one big jolt. It's a gradual process, taking 91 seconds to create a completed tree. He used a manual SLR camera to record a single still picture of the entire process, and utilized filters to get the different colors.If you've spent any time with the Strobist point of view, try to figure out the process he went through. Hint: it is kind of like light painting balanced with flash, but using 100,000 volts.
The cage of sparks around the car is definitely worth a look too (slide 4)!