Steven N. Meyers has created a reputation for strikingly beautiful images of ethereal flowers using floral radiography to reveal hidden textures, internal details, and lacy shadows.
“His expert light-to-dark gradients and grainy-to-flat backgrounds add drama and mystery. Overlaid lily leaves float like sails on a whispery wind. A long, narrow leaf bouquet appears to be an upside-down filmy skirt.” - Judy Wagonfeld.
Steven began discovering the photographic process in 1971 while studying radiological technology in preparation for a 30-year career in diagnostic medical radiology. This led him to develop his skills in camera-based photography in the late 70’s, and as a diversion from a daily world of black and white images, Steven specialized in larger format color landscapes and nature photography.
Not long afterward, curiosity prompted Steven to begin experimenting with x-ray photographs of flowers and other objects.
Twenty years passed and the art-form of floral radiographs, first discovered in 1941, was almost forgotten.
The x-ray equipment needed for floral radiographs is almost as rare as the art form itself, as most modern diagnostic x-ray equipment is much too powerful to capture the delicate details of flowers. Also, because there is no lens to compose the images, most of the images fail because of the composition.
In 1997 Steven became very serious about floral radiography and has since created over 3000 images. Floral radiography, even after 70 years, is largely unexplored and Steven is committed to pushing the boundaries and discovering new ways to adventure in the medium.
Creating floral x-ray images
Normally the negatives are made using 8x10 or 10x12in x-ray mammography film or a graphic arts film for higher contrast. The subject is placed directly on the film and then exposed with a very fine and focused x-ray beam instead of light, much like a photogram.
The actual prints are created with large format inkjet printers using specialty quadtone and hextone black ink sets. The inks are carbon pigment based, and specially formulated to print with an exceptional tonal range, to accurately display the flower’s characteristics. No color inks are used, producing a new print technology with its own unique beauty!
Discover more about Steven’s work at Fine Art X-ray Photography.