These are x-ray photographs of live animals taken with a Min-Xray portable X-ray machine then photographed from a light table with a Sony digital camera and processed a bit in photoshop. The first is a female Eastern Mud Turtle carrying eggs. The second is a Cottonmouth with a rat digesting in its gut and a small transmitter implanted in its tail. The turtle shot is one of many, many shots as I am using this technique to study egg size and clutch size in turtles. The cottonmouth shot was taken to determine whether the snake was gravid (pregnant, she was not).
You have hit on a very interesting topic using scientific studies as art. As a high school physics teacher I was very familiar with pictures of wave and electric phenomena in the PSSC high school physics book, an outgrowth of a science educational reform movement in the late 1950's, only to discover when I became interested in photography a few years back that they were taken by a noted art photographer (Berenice Abbott).Later editions of the textbook droppede Abbott's pictures for some reason.
Lookas, you're doing some interesting work with some unusual subjects and an unusual art photography process. I must say, your models are a bit more transparent than one would think, and if you hadn't told us, I would have thought that the turtle picture was a photomicrograph of an arthropod.
Thanks so much for the comments everyone. I was very happy that my ecological research could simultaneously be an art project. The animals are not tranquilized during the process as this would be far more stressful than the methods employed. Snakes are placed in what is known as a squeeze box which is a wooden box with a foam bottom. A weighted plexiglass top gently squeezes the snake into the foam so it is mostly immobilized. This same tool is used for taking body length measurements from venemous snakes (one simply draws a line on the plexiglass with a Dry-erase marker and measures the line after the snake is removed). I place the turtles in small plastic containers and they tend to hold still enough for exposure. PNH, all the animals are released back into the wild, and I wonder why this would give you concern. X-rays are simply energy, so the animals are not radioactively contaminated, and the doses used are equivalent to a human receiving a chest X-ray or a similar medical procedure, so there is no measurable effect on the animal after a single exposure.
that would be like not releasing people back into society after a trip to the dr.s oofice or hospital, after receiving an x ray exam?the misinformation out there regarding radiation exposure.these same people will lay out in the sun for hours and not be concerned at all about their skin and eye exposure to solor radiation?go figure!