Our human eyes may be limited by visible light, but the work of physicist and artist Arie van 't Riet gives us a glimpse into the invisible universe around us. In exploration of nature’s hidden anatomy, Riet uses x-ray imagery on naturalistic compositions, or bioramas, created from flora and fauna. The challenging photography process requires Riet to experiment with different levels of x-ray energies to achieve the right amount of contrast in each image.
Riet, who is a registered medical physicist, first became interested in x-ray photography when a colleague asked him to make an x-ray of a painting. Impressed by the results, Riet experimented with similarly thin materials starting with a bouquet of tulips. The production process begins with a black-and-white silver bromide x-ray image, which he then digitizes and inverts on his computer. Afterwards, he selectively applies color to certain parts of the image to create a connection between the x-ray film and the world we normally see in visual light.
In addition to flora, Riet added dead animals such as birds and frogs to enliven and add interest to each composition. On his website, Riet states: “I prefer X-ray objects of ordinary scenes like a butterfly nearby a flower, a fish in the ocean, a mouse in the field…Each time it is challenging me to arrive at an X-ray photograph that represents the sentiment of the scene…raise questions and excite curiosity.”
Via My Modern Met