1. Bulman, Alison Senior editorial coordinator

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The cover image entitled "Foxglove," and the one on this page, "Eucalyptus," are the results of what photographer Steven N. Meyers calls his "10-year discovery process" of using radiographic X-ray exposure as a photographic technique. A full-time radiology imager, Meyers has combined his profession of 30 years with his passion for photography, and the result is more than 3,000 films of garden and botanical subjects. "I've spent many years making traditional landscape photographs, so I'm very motivated to make these X-ray images photographic, especially in print form," he says.

Figure.  1998 - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. (C) 1998 Steven N. Meyers. "Foxglove," X-ray photograph

Meyers, who is 57 and a native of Washington State, started experimenting with X-ray photographs in 1975. The art form dates back to 1930 but never achieved popularity. Meyers says he "jumped in to make interesting images and get them seen outside of radiology departments." He adds, "I wanted to create images that were a little less science and a little more art and find out what the nonmedical world thought."


Foxglove and eucalyptus plants have long been hailed for their medicinal properties. Foxglove (or Digitalis) is a primary component of cardioactive steroid glycosides, which are used to treat heart disease, especially congestive heart failure, as well as tachyarrhythmias of atrial origin. Cough drops and vaporizers contain distilled eucalyptus oil, which is both an antiseptic and expectorant.


X-ray exposures are sensitive enough to reveal the density of a subject, and Meyers continues to unveil the intricacies and beauty of botanical specimens in this still somewhat unexplored medium. "I often give myself problems to try and solve, like how to create distance or depth with a radiographic X-ray exposure," he explains. "The depth of field with the equipment I use is about an inch. All objects must fit on an 8" x 10" or 10" x 12" sheet of film-that's the largest I can expose. Because X-ray film was never intended to be enlarged, having a big negative is a bonus."

Figure. Photo credit... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Photo credit: Steven N. Meyers

For more of Meyers's art, visit his Web site at


Alison Bulman


Senior editorial coordinator