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X-Ray Art? Here's How the Stunning Photos Are Made


"I dream in X-ray."

Have you ever heard about, or seen, X-ray photography? If not, prepared to be amazed.

Nick Veasey's X-ray images make intense detail look effortless, almost having the perfection associated with computer generation. But would you believe that some of these X-ray shots can take months to create and are actually a compilation of X-ray images that are then Photoshopped into one?

CNET explains that Veasey, a British photographer who creates these images for a hefty sum occasionally for advertising purposes, first has to choose the right size machine. For images like the bus, Veasey used the same type of cargo-scanning X-ray machine found at border crossings. But CNET reports that using this machine only produced a "crude outline" -- nothing near the level of detail you see in the finished product.

Watch this clip by BBC last year about Veasey's work:

CNET goes on to explain that to add more detail in his images -- especially the large ones -- he X-rays different parts of the object and then Photoshops them all together:

This not only lets him capture objects as gigantic as a Boeing 777 (which, of course, dwarfs a mere bus), it also lets him create richly detailed and layered images that would be impossible to produce with a single X-ray.

CNET also notes that Veasey is unable to use human subjects in his artwork due to the length of the radiation exposure. According to CNET, medical X-ray machines have radiation that lasts for a split second, while Veasey needs several minutes. So, what are those skeletons? It's more like skeleton -- singular. Veasey uses a skeleton named Frida that was left over from student radiologists, according to CNET:

 It's Frida who appears again and again in the bus. She sits; she stands. She reads the paper; she drives the vehicle.

In terms of time, CNET reports that the Boeing 777, for example, was composed of 500 images and took about three months to complete. CNET reports that Veasey's clients have included Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, Mecedes-Benz and United Airlines.

Veasey doesn't just take images of man and machines. He also has many images of plant and animal life as well as everyday objects:

Veasey has also been featured by the Discovery Channel and other major media groups for his more than 4,000 works of art. Here's the Discovery Channel clip:

See more of Veasey's projects here.

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