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Physicist Creates Beautiful and Unique Images Using X-Rays

By Hanssie on January 29th 2014

If you ask a photographer what his favorite medium to create an image is, answers would be varied. Some prefer a Canon 5D Mark III, others may wield a Nikon 800. Others may prefer a mirrorless option, like the Sony A7 or maybe the iPhone is your personal favorite. For physicist and photographer, Arie van’t Riet, his equipment of choice? An x-ray machine.

[REWIND: Romantic X-Ray Portraits of Couples]

Using his knowledge of the workings of an x-ray machine, van’t Riet “accidently” became an artist. In his Tedx Talk in Groningen (video below), he explains how a friend asked him to x-ray one of his paintings, which led him to experiment with various other objects, such as tulips. The silver bromide x-ray film (or the analog image), reminded him of a negative and so he digitized it, inverted and colorized it in Adobe Photoshop.

And then some people told me, ‘That’s art…’ and I became an artist.

Colorized-X-Ray-Images-1He began do more experimenting of different intensities and energies of x-rays and animals. All animals van’t Riet uses are deceased (except for the snail image below), using either “traffic victims” found on the side of the road or recently deceased pets of friends, so as to not expose living  animals with radiation. He explains that he tries to “combine the physical world with color and surface,” with x-rays the inner world. His “complete natural scenes,” or “bioramas,” as he calls them, adds a new dimension to [his] experience of nature.”

Colorized-X-Ray-Images-2 Colorized-X-Ray-Images-4Colorized-X-Ray-Images-3 Colorized-X-Ray-Images-5 Colorized-X-Ray-Images-6 Colorized-X-Ray-Images-7 Colorized-X-Ray-Images-8 Colorized-X-Ray-Images-9 Colorized-X-Ray-Images-10

Van’t Riet gave the following Tedx Talk explaining his processes:

[Via @Laughing Squid/Images courtesy of Arie Van’t Riet]

CREDITS: All photographs shared by Arie Van’t Riet are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Jacob Jexmark

    Really great images!

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