It has been known for more that two hundred years that the photosensitive film produces images that we call photographs when exposed to light. These pictures result from the interaction between the photons, that are part of visible light, and a substance that surrounds film; hence the name photography. At the end of the 19th century, Roentgen discovered that X-rays could traverse opaque organic matter and that the difference in its densities would be captured by photographic film. These characteristics were immediately put to use by scientists in order to produce X-rays that have been used, almost exclusively, for medical purposes.
During the first years the X-rays were used, scientists did a few experiments with purely aesthetic goals, like dr. Dain Tasker, an american doctor that took various X-rays of flowers and plants. Dismissed as mere curious experiments with no practical value, these images remained stored and forgotten until they were rescued for their artistic and photographic quality. Recently, they have been sold at an auction in New York, reaching exorbitant prices.
The structure and composition of plants makes them especially photogenic in X-rays and Tasker foresaw it. He used high-precision X-rays, arranged the vegetables using an artistic sense and made the most of shapes and transparencies. Nowadays, there are many artists dedicated to the art of drawing with lights. Curiously enough, they are mostly doctors or dentists with access to X-ray equipment. They don't simply cature the reflextion of light on the objects, but prefer to capture the effect produced by its journey through them.
One of these artists is Albert Koetsier, a Dutch X-ray technician and amateur photographer. Koetsier went beyond the negatives in X-rays of flowers and plants and transformed them into positives. After a careful selection, he eleminated those with imperfections, stains or overexposures - he usually saves one out of ten. Afterwards, he colours them with the same paints used to colour black and white postcards a century ago. The results are a combination of the X-ray image with a touch of colour applied by hand - a marriage between art and technique.
A retro feel that reminds us of oriental designs. What do you think?
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