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BIOCOMM 2018 Program

Below is the preliminary BIOCOMM 2018 program. Be sure to look at the Schedule page for a quick "Meeting at a Glance" view of BIOCOMM 2018.

Click on speaker's name or photo to view their bio.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

7 pm – Opening Reception
8 pm – BioImages Awards Ceremony


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Maria Ikenberg Lindberg Keynote Presentation
Adventures in Human-Centered Design and Photography

Andrew DavidhazyAndrew Davidhazy
Austin, Texas and Budapest, Hungary

Having traveled to many different parts of the world including Iraq, Hungary, Egypt, Siberia and the Pacific Crest Trail. Andy will talk to us about how a very natural curiosity in the human condition influenced his career and approach to design, and his love of photography. He’ll be using his personal narrative as a framework for sharing interesting photographs and stories about people he has encountered at the best and worst of times. Andy will also talk about growing up with the photographic arts and sciences and the role photography played during his long career designing new brands, products and experiences.

© Andrew Davidhazy
© Andrew Davidhazy

Modeling Sharkskin: A Microscopic Study in Bio-mimicry

James Wetzel, PhDJames Wetzel, PhD
Pulaski L. Bealy Smith Biology Professor
Presbyterian College
Clinton, SC

Sharkskin is characterized by species-specific morphologies of enamel denticles called placiod scales. Although scale patterns differ between species, they all serve the same functions of protection of the skin against abrasion, and in greatly reducing turbulent flow of water across the skin surface for more efficient swimming. The morphology of sharkskin results in a more efficient laminar flow pattern, and served as inspiration for replicating similar patterns on various synthetic materials. For example, Speedo’s ‘Fastline’ of sharkskin-like pattern swim wear for a possible competitive edge, or Sharklet Technologies film; a sharkskin inspired design molded into plastics that has been demonstrated to minimize bio-film formation, and accordingly, minimize bacterial growth. This concept, copying patterns in nature, defines the emerging field of Bio-mimicry. These patterns however are merely that – molded patterns of raised surfaces, and do not accurately replicate the laminar flow of an actual placiod scale. My interest lies in 1) building an image bank through Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) of the unique placiod scale pattern of each species available for study, 2) measuring coefficient of drag for each species (some sedentary and some open-water pelagic species), 3) converting SEM measurements into STL files for 3D printing of the unique patterns of each species, and then 4) evaluating the actual scale patterns for reduction in bio-film adhesion. What I will show is a series of scale patterns characteristic of several shark species indigenous to the Gulf of Mexico, their 3D models, and some preliminary results on the reduction of bacterial adhesion on synthetic materials that accurately replicate the morphology several species of sharks.

2-Photon Microscopy: How Deep Can You Go?

Jamie HaydenJamie Hayden, RBP, FBCA
Managing Director, Imaging Shared Resources
Wistar Institute
Philadelphia, PA

Widefield, fluorescence microscopy lets you see everything in your biological sample, but a lot of it is out of focus, especially at higher magnifications. Confocal microscopy makes it all sharp, but limits you to about 150 microns in depth. 2-Photon microscopy allows you to image routinely to 300-500 microns, providing a much better 3-dimensional re-creation. In addition, 2-photon does less damage to living cells, so it can be a better choice for intra-vital and live-cell imaging. This talk will provide an overview of the experiments, techniques and results we have obtained in our lab, which generally concentrates on cancer-related specimens - both live and fixed.

2-D to 3-D Conversion of Digital Images – In Minutes!

David L. GrahamDavid L. Graham, DVM, PhD
Estelline, SD

Simple, easily applied techniques have been used to accentuate monocular cues to depth perception commensurate with perceived distance from viewer as a disparate feature of a stereo image pair prepared from an original 2-D image. The least complex techniques result in 3-D stereo image pairimage processing applications, as well as on digital pads using free or inexpensive apps. These techniques are not intended to supplant traditional two-view stereo photography, but simply to provide the opportunity to convert selected extant 2-D images into a 3-D image pair yielding the 3-D effect by stereopsis.

Basic Photomicrography

Jamie HaydenJamie Hayden, RBP, FBCA
Managing Director, Imaging Shared Resources
Wistar Institute
Philadelphia, PA

Jamie will discuss the basics of microscopy and photomicrography so we will be ready to try out the microscopes during his afternoon workshop. Topics include digital photomicrography, Kohler illumination and fluorescence techniques and tools.

Hands-on 2-D to 3-D Conversion of Digital Images

David L. GrahamDavid L. Graham, DVM, PhD
Estelline, SD

Follow along with David Graham and convert your own images to 3-D. Bring your laptop or tablet with:

  • a presentation program such as Keynote or PowerPoint
  • images for converting to 3-D
  • image processing apps permitting image cropping, free transformation, and lens distortion correction (pincushion and barrel distortion.) You can use free apps like Polarr, Aviary and Perspective, or paid apps like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

Hands-on Photomicrography

James WetzelJamie HaydenJamie Hayden, RBP, FBCA
Managing Director, Imaging Shared Resources
Wistar Institute
Philadelphia, PA

James Wetzel, PhD
Pulaski L. Bealy Smith Biology Professor
Presbyterian College
Clinton, SC

The basic mechanics of using a microscope have not changed in a while. Brightfield images still require Kohler illumination, fluorescence still requires a good stain and the right filter cubes to separate the signals. However, if you haven't had the opportunity to get your hands on a current microscope with a digital imaging system, then you are missing half of the experience. Join us for a hands-on tour of both fluorescence imaging as well as brightfield, and see what it takes to acquire high-quality photomicrographs. Get creative or just be very objective. The whole microscope is nothing more than a fancy camera and you just need to learn how to use it!

Thursday, June 21, 2018Return to top

In Their Features and Countenance – The Study of Medicine

Paul CromptonPaul Crompton, FBCA
Cardiff, UK

In 1802, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, the physician Benjamin Rush expressed a “wish to see a gallery of portraits of sick people laboring under such diseases as show themselves in the features and countenance – by means of a gallery of portraits … the study of medicine might be much aided”. With photography emerging in the mid-19th century and regarded as an objective and accurate means of representation, it took on this role of the gallery through which medicine could be aided. This presentation celebrates some of the key figures whom, through their understanding and application of the technology of the day, demonstrated the power of photography to enhance the practice of medicine.

A Simple Procedure to Record and Edit an Oral Presentation with Screen Capture

Ken MeatsKen Meats, RBP
Toronto, Canada

A how-to explanation of the recording of presentations such as the BIOCOMM talks and the steps used to take the multi-camera and audio recording and edit it to a usable format for YouTube. Since leaving the corporate environment with over 30 years’ experience in a number of visual media roles, Ken has been working as a self-employed media person. I have used DSLRs for both still photo and videography and as I worked with the cameras and talked to others working in the field I have learned to configure the cameras for a better image for motion imaging.

Optimising photo dermoscopy practice – An exploration of best practice in order to improve diagnostic accuracy

Simon WellsSimon Wells
Clinical Photographer
Royal Alexandra Hospital
Paisley, Scotland

Dermatoscopes are commonly used by clinicians to aid in the diagnosis of skin lesions. Adapters can be utilised to mount the scope to a digital camera enabling dermoscopy photos to be created. Photo dermoscopy is now a common clinical practice however the images produced are not always reliable for diagnosis. A better understanding of diagnostic method may improve the quality of photographic output.

This paper explores the methods used by clinicians to interpret lesions using dermoscopy and proposes a revised ‘best practice’ for medical photographers, and those engaged in photo dermoscopy, that could benefit the diagnostic accuracy of the images produced.

A simple workflow has been proposed for medical photographers to optimise their photo dermoscopy practise. In addition an evidence based post-production workflow is proposed to enhance the important morphological features and potentially improve diagnostic accuracy. The findings of this review are of particular relevance to photographers presented with unknown diagnosis or those that perform a teledermatology role where the images will be of primary importance in the treatment of the patient.

Show Your Stuff / Infoshare

Jim Koepfler, FBCA

Show Your Stuff is designed for 10-15 minute presentations to show an image or a project, explain how the image was created and what the purpose was.

Infoshare is designed to have speakers come up and demonstrate a gadget or a quick new way of doing somethinga, presented in a quick 5 minute or less time frame.


  • Ken Meats, RBP: Configuring your DSLR for Video
  • TBA

Savannah College of Art and DesignTour of Savannah College of Art and Design Photography Facilities

Professor Rick English
Savannah College of Art and Design
Savannah, GA

Friday, June 22, 2018Return to top

Dense Metaphors: A Rock Art Model of the Cosmos

Denise SmithDenise Smith, PhD
Associate Dean of Communication Arts and Liberal Arts
Savannah College of Art and Design
Atlanta Campus

Located in on the edge of Atlanta, Georgia in Fulton County, an extraordinary pair of rock forms sit behind a local church. One stands more than two meters tall and resembles a raptor, usually described as an owl. Approximately thirty meters away is a large, roughly spherical boulder known to many as Turtle Rock. The author will argue that these forms actually represent a peregrine falcon and a serpent's head. Drawing on the symbolism of ancient Mississippian culture, the author will hypothesize that these two forms, located on the edge of what is thought to be an ancient ceremonial ground, were intended to symbolize the cosmos.

Cross-polarized and parallel-polarized light: Viewing and photography for examination and documentation of biological materials in medicine and forensics

Katharine HanlonKatharine Hanlon
Mayo Clinic
Jacksonville, FL

Cross-polarization, with regard to visible light, is a process wherein two polarizers with perpendicular orientation to one another are used on the incident and reflected lights. Under cross-polarized light birefringent structures which are otherwise invisible become apparent. Cross-polarized light eliminates glare and specular highlights, allowing for an unobstructed view of subsurface pathology. Parallel-polarization occurs when the polarizers are rotated to the same orientation. When cross- or parallel-polarization is applied to photography, images can be generated which aid in visualization of surface and subsurface elements. Improved access to equipment and education has the potential to benefit practitioners, researchers, investigators and patients.

Going Mirrorless: My Most Recent Transition in 50 Years of Adapting to Change

nameBill Durrence
Savannah, GA

The first thing that attracted me to a mirrorless system was the smaller and lighter equipment. After 49 years of shooting with Nikon gear, including 27 years as either an employee of, or contractor with, Nikon USA, the most traumatic part of the change was the day I boxed up all my Nikon gear and sent it to the camera store to swap for the Fuji X-T system. That day combined the worst feelings of giving up a well-worn security blanket, and disloyalty. I don't regret the decision, and now see it as just the most recent change in a long series of adaptations and adjustments I'm made in my career.

Seeing the Light

Bill FortneyBill Fortney
Corbin, KY

No matter what we photograph, light matters! In our personal work, landscape, travel, Americana, etc., it really matters for the sake of our art. Allow me to share 48 years of searching for, finding and using the most effective light possible!

Bill will be giving the group a code to download several of his eBooks covering the material and more. A $75 value!

Mark MaioThe Anne Shiras Pioneer Lecture
Photographic Life Lessons

Mark Maio, MFA
President InVision, Inc.
Alpharetta, GA

Pump Station © Mark MaioWhichever point we are in our photographic journey, the tendency is to concentrate on which camera, lens, software or plugin we think we need to make better photographs. Many of us have photographers whose work we try to emulate and early on look to them and the equipment they use as a guide for our photography. While the tools we use are important, what we see, feel and say through them is even more important. Going beyond the technical aspects of image making and using his dual career in photography (medical/technical imaging and fine art photography), Mark will discuss how each half of his photographic life contributed to the photographic life lessons that have shaped his vision and voice. His presentation will help you look beyond the equipment and software you are using and help you find what you are trying to say with them.

Saturday, June 23, 2018Return to top


Post-Meeting Photography Workshop
Photographing Tybee Island and Fort Pulaski

Bill FortneyBill DurrenceBill Durrence
Savannah, GA

Bill Fortney
Corbin, KY

Bill Durrence and Bill Fortney will be our guides for the post-meeting photography workshop. We'll meet in the hotel lobby at 4:40 am to board the shuttle to Tybee Island. We will catch the beach sunrise at 5:30 am. Then we can make beautiful images of the Historical Tybee Island Light Station (lighthouse), local sand dunes and sea oats on the beach. From there we will head to the pier on the main beach to make images and do some exploring. We will have breakfast near the pier before heading to historical Fort Pulaski at about 9 am. Built in the early 1800s, the fort is part of the National Park System and a joy to explore and photograph. Learn more at Fort Pulaski website.

We will spend a few hours at Fort Pulaski, then on to lunch near the Fort before heading back to the hotel where we will have a much-needed break. Later in the afternoon, around 3:00 pm, we will meet in a conference room to review photos and critique the day’s images during a session led by Bill Durrence and Bill Fortney. The photo review will end the day and you will be free to go to dinner on your own.

The workshop fee is $100 and will include transportation, snacks and water. Breakfast and lunch are on your own but we will try to arrange group dining.

Return to BIOCOMM 2018 Meeting Overview Return to top