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Showgrounds this weekend

3 Jul

Once again a set of six images from the local Agricultural Show this weekend. I continue my theme of black and white with a touch of colour, but in line with helpful comments on the previous sets, this group is more cropped, and the colour is generally more subtle.


Knitting Nurse

Knitting nurse



Distressing News

Distressing news




Friendly police

Mother and child

Mother and child



Chest 150; Adhesins

26 Jun

Chest 150

The base image for this picture was a piece of Sellotape attached many years before to the wall, the tape had fallen off leaving a squarish patch of adhesive still stuck to the paint, yellowed with age. I have tried to indicate the pieces as fragmenting and becoming unstuck.

I have paired this with the X-ray of a child with a mycoplasma pneumonia. This is caused by a very small bacterial organism that, when it is breathed in, attaches to the surface cells of the bronchi.

The ability of a bacterium to invade and colonise a host depends on the ability to withstand the host’s mechanical and immunological defences. The power to invade depends on the bacterial capability to quickly and effectively attach to the host cells and avoid being expelled. Most bacteria that either live in, or infect a host make special adhesive molecules on their surfaces that interact with host cells causing the bacteria to adhere to the surface with great strength. The attachment uses extremely sticky protein glue known as an adhesin. The process of attachment is complex involving a series of processes which if disrupted interrupts the infection. One mechanism by which antibiotics work is to break down, or inhibit production of these adhesins and this allows the bacteria to be expelled from the body.





24 Jun


As part of the series on geometrical shapes this is the Cross.

The crosses were part of a jetty seen on the ferry trip up Charlotte Sound in BC Canada. Images were superimposed and sparingly coloured. I liked the reflections in the water.

They have been teamed with the chest X-ray of a man with Sarcoidosis. This is a disease of unknown cause – so called idiopathic – in 90% of cases granulomas form in the lungs and frequently multiple other parts of the body including bones. The main sign on a chest X-ray is enlarged lymph nodes around the heart and centre of the chest, but later if the disease progresses a fine criss-crossing pattern known as a reticular interstitial pattern can develop. This can further progress to form a honeycomb pattern, though this is rare.

At least half of these cases resolve spontaneously or with minimal treatment, and most resolve within five years. Though a few go on to have long term chronic disease.



Palm Creek Folk Festival

17 Jun

Six pictures from the festival. Always interested in your comments. Do the colours work?

Masked singerDrummerChildren ukeleleSound technicianAudienceViolin


16 Jun
Squares J


This is one of the geometric shapes series.

The colours in this image have a remarkably Christmassy feeling. The base images were taken from the candle-lit sparkles on polished cut glass bringing out the square pattern on the surface. The chest X-ray is from a man with emphysema with the classic box-shaped chest.

Despite the happiness in this image, there are two slightly ominous aspects; the highlit cross in the middle reminds me of a distorted plane flying over the ground, and the bones clearly visible on the right are distinctly un-Christmassy.





29 May


Triangles J


This week’s challenge is triangles. A chest X-ray selection wasn’t problematic because just about every segment or lobe of the lung either consolidates or collapses to form a triangle. With this in mind I chose a partial collapse of part of the upper lobe on the right side which formed a nice triangle. The area concerned is not noticeable on this image because the collapsed part of lung goes white and that melds with the background.

Selecting triangles to complement the X-ray was more difficult. I photographed a polished crystal from a variety of angles and blew up the pictures to choose three which were then layered and blended. They produced most satisfactory triangles upon triangles. The image reminds me of looking down a kaleidoscope.

Ewan Races

26 May

This series of five pictures does not have an X-ray in it! These were taken at the Ewan Country Race meeting in Northern Queensland a couple of years ago. As an experiment I’ve rendered them in black-and-white with just a touch of colour in each. I’m asking for comments and suggestions on technique and choice of subject.

Betting J

Studying Form

Belles J

The Belles

Kids at the races J

Stable boys

Punters J



The Race

Chest 149; Mobile

24 May

Chest 149; Mobile J

This picture is simply a celebration of the number of mobile X-rays done in hospital for people who are too ill to come to the X-ray department for their investigation. It requires a certain kind of dedication on the part of the radiographers who must be obsessional about getting the patient, the cassette, and the X-ray tube just right, not to mention the problems with low-powered machines, and unconscious or difficult patients. I greatly respect the technicians who can produce excellent mobile images.

A recent mail-out from a gallery showing pictures of an artist who paints on the reverse side of Perspex sheets using coloured inks, and then lights them from behind inspired this image. It was obtained by layering various coloured images and then using a masking tool to cut out sections allowing under layers to show through. The margins and edges were then smudged with a large brush to push the colours around in a soft intermixing appearance. On top I laid down the stripey segmented image copied from the bottom layer, textured it and tried the DROP SHADOW tool which didn’t work because the shadows were uniform across the image giving a flat appearance. I wanted the layer to look as though it was bent upward away from the lower layers. So I copied it, placed the copy under the original, warped and reduced opacity, using the MULTIPLY blending mode to form the shadow effect I was trying to achieve.

I’m fairly pleased with this picture, it has not achieved quite the flat texture of the inspiration piece, but it has taken on its own meaning, and that’s a good thing. It’s best regarded as an experiment and a piece of development.


Self-portrait 14; 365 Degrees

22 May
Self-portrait 14; 365 degrees J

Self portrait 14;    365 Degrees

For this challenge “365 Degrees” a portrait of myself was superimposed upon the same portrait reversed as a mirror image. It was then segmented and the elements painted and textured, each treated with a different filter to produce a mask-like figure, the mask split by my own Chest X-ray taken when I had pleurisy in Pondicherry, India, a few years ago.

Making a self-portrait is itself a challenge, it is inherently autobiographical. In these times selfie photographs are bandied about two a penny, but they nevertheless reveal something of the identity. In this selfie I discover aspects of myself not previously realised. In some ways this image is personally significant; quite a brutal exposure, which I hesitate to explain further.

Photography is the art of documentation and a self-portrait is a singular document; it mirrors reality with precision and incredible detail. But it can also be used to question our perception of reality producing elaborate fiction within the image. Photographs are not mere recording devices. In a way the photograph is analogous to a stage upon which to enact our own story. Fiction contains elements of truth, sometimes well hidden. For an actor, the character is the mask that hides the actor, he is protected by it; it allows him to lay down his soul, bare to the last intimate detail.



19 May
Circles J



Circles within circles, and circles interacting with circles. For this challenge I raided every picture in my stash with a circle in it. They have been blended and segmented and overlaid to produce this complex picture. It is a step away from the simpler pictures I have been doing, but I hope it works.

There is a spiral within these interactions that focusses on a small yellow ball. The focus is extracted from an X-ray image of a child who had swallowed a 20¢ piece. It was stuck in his throat at the thoracic inlet. Coins and button batteries seem to be the main foreign bodies children swallow these days, the latter can give a large dose of lithium and poison the child, the former can get stuck and if not removed, erode through the oesophagus causing all kinds of mischief.


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