X-rays are similar to light as they are a form of electromagnetic radiation, and an x-ray machine is similar to a camera. However, instead of using visible light, an x-ray machine uses x-rays to expose the image. Also, x-rays are more energetic than light, meaning they can penetrate many different materials. In the body such materials would include bone, muscle, fat, tumors, and other masses that absorb x-rays.
During the examination, x-ray particles referred to as photons are sent by the x-ray machine to pass through the body, allowing a digital image to be recorded. This does involve exposure to low doses of x-rays to produce a black and white image on a computer screen. The amount of exposure is very small and directed towards the part of the body being imaged. X-rays are considered safe when used by our technologists and radiologists who have undergone special training to minimize exposure and to ensure that no radiation remains after the examination.