Since early childhood Don Dudenbostel has been interested in photography as an art form. Also serious about science he found a way to combine art and science for a high school science fair project in the 1960ís. He developed a friendship with an engineer with a General Electric X-ray who introduced him to radiographic imaging. With the help of the G.E. engineer Dudenbostel built his first x-ray apparatus from a variety of discarded parts. The system uses very low penetration, soft x-rays that do not totally penetrate the soft, delicate structure of the plants.
In 1975 he had the opportunity to study with Ansel Adams at his home in Yosemite National Park. It is now thirty years later and he has refocused on x-ray imaging. Due to advances in science, he is now able to capture even more of the delicacies of his subject matter.
The equipment I use is very different from traditional x-ray equipment; it is made of discarded components. The tube I use has an extremely thin beryllium window which allows the lowest energy to emerge. The process involves placing photo film in a light tight, thin black envelope. The specimen is places on top of this, then the x-ray tube is placed above it all. The exposure time varies depending on the energy level used. The resulting negative has a long tonal scale and is inappropriate for traditional development. I take the negative and make a very high-resolution digital scan, then refine it on my computer. The resulting images are 100% carbon pigment, which contains no dyes.