Internal Landscapes: Medical Images of the Body

Laurie says

I had an ultrasound procedure last week. When I have the rare opportunity to see my internal landscape, I always take advantage of it. Sometimes the procedures have been difficult for me, but I don’t care, I want to see the photos. I asked the tech to turn the screen around so I could see the images. Usually whoever is giving the procedure really enjoys my interest, and she was very helpful.

I saw marvelous black and white images of my abdomen, sometimes shot with color that indicated blood flow. I’ve also had the chance at other times to see my internal self in color images.

When I did a web search for medical screen images, it was really hard to choose just a few. The images below struck me as beautiful in composition as well as subject. Of course, I can see ways to crop them or change contrast, etc. – but that’s not the point.


I love the shape and the contrasts here, and the word “ovary” on the ultrasound image seems very texty and post modern


The strong shapes and the relationship of the muscles and the bones in this CAT scan have a powerful beauty


This cell photo has a subtle delicacy.

When I see these internal landscapes, I’m always reminded that this is a reality of my body. The skin and eyes and hair I see everyday cover an inner body that is far more complexly beautiful.

medical images, ultrasound, CAT scan, body image, art, photography, Body Impolitic

4 thoughts on “Internal Landscapes: Medical Images of the Body

  1. Aren’t ovary and cell pics the bomb? When I was undergoing treatment, the most amazing thing was to see those follicles on the screen, those little bits of dna with the potential to become a human being…amazing.

    They were almost topped by the 3D ultrasound I had a few weeks ago, though. Lying there, looking at the bones of my son’s face, his tiny hands, his wee thigh bones, kidneys, bladder, spine, soft palate…sometimes all I can think of is Arthur C Clarke, when he wrote:

    “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”

    Ain’t that the truth.

  2. Orodemniades,


    I deliberately didn’t choose the ultra sounds of fetuses because I wanted to talk about a purely aesthetic beauty. The pregnancy ultrasounds are emotionally powerful in a way that, to me, makes the aesthetics of the images secondary.

  3. Wow, I have never heard/seen someone speak to this type of photography in this way. How interesting and when I was looking at this pictures I thought wow, they are visually appealing and beautiful. We rarely would regard our insides this way. My mom is a tech and I am going to forward her this blog post.

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