As it happens with a lot of what eventually become serious, x-ray photography, which made Nick Veasey famous, started out as a joke. Veasey himself tells how the idea to use an x-ray machine, rented from an hospital to discover a prized can of Pepsi, from a pile of thousands more atop of a truck came about (and before you call him crazy, be aware that the prize was worth 400 000 pounds). Unfortunately, he wasn't able to find the can, however, this bizarre experiment gave him a brand new range of perspectives that triggered the career he embraces today and that made him famous world-wide.
But what was initially the joke of a mediocre student and irresponsible young man (that's more or less the way Veasey describes himself), as time went by, took on the size of great seriousness and rigour. The radiation is dangerous and the technical difficulties many, the logistics are complex, the research continuous and the failed experiments many. All of this works more like a challenge for the photographer, who, dressed in heavy equipment, made out of lead and protected by thick concrete walls, makes countless plates of all kinds of daily objects. Just to create the image of a Boeing 747 inside a hangar, Vasey needed a few hundreds of plates with airplane details. The final result only came about after many hours and a lot of Photoshop.
This is the process that explains the creation of severall human figures in everyday poses and tasks, which lend the photograph's realism and poetic expressiveness. The skeletons are not real people, as one might think, but rather digital images, carefully placed in the photographs. Another peculiar characteristic of this process of obtaining pictures is the balance between the intensity of radiation and the time of exposure of the film. That is also where the computer steps in to do all of the calculus. The final colour is artificial and once again, the spectrum of frequencies used stands outside the visible light spectrum; the colour is, as such, a product of posterior and deliberate digital treatment.
All of this makes Nick Veasey a unique artist. Under a greater influence from music and cinema than from Photography or Science, he knows what he wants: to see the inside of things. In a world that has grown used to looking only at the superficial appearence of things, Veasey longs to go deeper and capture their essence. And with that he expects to achieve some beauty.