X-Ray Film

Fine art photography using large format sheet X-ray film in antique cameras, vintage cameras and DIY cameras.

Using X-ray film instead of the glass plates that would have been used originally in the cameras from c1900 opens up interesting image making possibilities that I am enjoying exploring.

I like to produce images which draw the viewer in and the techniques and processes I explore are used to achieve that effect.

X-ray film like photographic paper, is not sensitive to red/orange light (orthochromatic).  This means it renders subjects with a quite different look and feel. Add to that the dramatically greater resolution film offers over the most expensive digital camera sensors I can make images that stand out from much of what we are given to view today. 


This film is less expensive than ordinary film and is available in large sheets. 


One challenge is that the film surface is delicate when wet, so needs careful handling or it scratches & marks all too easily.


As with paper negatives the Xray film’s insensitivity to red light means the exposed negatives can be developed under red light in open trays, giving the great advantage of being able to watch the development and “pulling” the film at the desired stage of development. This was very helpful when I was learning the process.


The negatives need to be made positive and there are a number of options to choose from:

Silver-gelatine photographic paper - The usual type of “photograph”.

Cyanotype paper  - including toned cyanotype - an iron based technology 

Van Dyke Brown paper- a silver-iron based technology

Other variations are Cyanotype & Van Dyke Brown in gelatine on glass.