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BCA News: Spring 2017

EFFE Grants

Roman Vishniac RediscoveredNorm Barker and Howard Radzyner were awarded an EFFE grant for material for publication of article in JBC on Roman Vishniac: The Curious Microscopist. Norm presented on Roman Vishniac at BIOCOMM 2016, published an article in the BCA News and now preparing an article for JBC.

Allicia Cowley was awarded an EFFE scholarship. Alicia is about to begin her MSc Medical Art programme at the University of Dundee. An MSc in Medical Art helps to develop specialist practice within the contemporary medical art field. 

John Yeats awarded the 2017 BIOCOMM grant.

BIOCOMM grant recipient John Yeats will present in Portland 2017 on Professional Clinical Photography to Assist Patients with Pectus Carinatum. John has been a BCA member for three years and this is his first time to attend a BIOCOMM meeting.

One of John’s aims in this presentation is to make medical photographers feel good about their careers. There are many ways to achieve satisfaction in a job but one is to believe that your work is making a positive difference in another’s life. In the field of medical photography there is emphasis in the recording of pre and post treatment images for the purpose of documentation. However, in some situations photography can be an integral part of a patient’s medical management. The photography of patients with Pectus Carinatum, is one such example.

The majority of our patients affected by Pectus are pre-teenage or teenage boys. There are many issues of self-identity that affects their behaviour in regards to compliance with treatment. The patients with this condition are faced with a decision to wear an orthotic brace for approximately 12 months or to take the easier short-term path that would allow their chest wall to continue to develop abnormally. Parental involvement is another factor in the compliance with wearing an orthotic.

John will discuss how photography, both conventional and 3-dimensional imaging encourages such patients to comply with the conservative treatment of Pectus. He will discuss the photographic procedures that they adopt to arm the clinician with material to convince these patients that wearing an orthotic brace is in their best long-term interest.

John will focus on the progress of one young patient who has had numerous photographic sessions. He will demonstrate before and after photographic images pertaining to this young man’s conditions as well as showing a short video in which his father discusses their experience about the influence the photographic process has had on his son’s treatment and compliance.

John would like this presentation to inspire those attending that the use of the visual image can be a powerful tool of influence and to look for ways that their photographic imaging can be employed to achieve positive goals.

Gale Spring, FBPA, was awarded an EFFE grant in 2016 to continue his extensive work with camera conversions, lenses and filers for infrared photography. At BIOCOMM 2017 in Portland, Gale Spring, FBPA, RMIT University and Kathryn Denny, Queensland Police, will discuss their experience and research into applications of infrared and ultraviolet imaging in forensic applications in their presentation, Infrared Photography- considering the best approach for desired results.

Digital imaging has greatly increased the interest in infrared (IR) photography. Since all digital sensors are sensitive to IR, this places the technique in the hands of amateurs and professionals alike. They are no longer tied to special films and processes. Infrared imaging is a good artistic and creative tool as well as a scientific technique.


Aerial infrared photo of the Kimberley riverbed in Purnululu National Park, Western Australia. Photo by Gale Spring

Many cameras can image in the infrared ‘out-of-the-box’, but more serious IR photographers should consider a camera conversion. This requires removal of the IR cut-off filter covering the sensor and replacement with either a visible and IR pass filter or a visible cut-off and IR pass filter such as the traditional Wratten 87 or 88 series of filters. There are advantages and disadvantages to either approach.

Another consideration to photographing in the infrared is lens choice and focus shift. It is well known infrared radiation does not focus in the same plane as ‘white’ (visible) light. Lenses optimize image quality in white light. Various problems arise when imaging only infrared radiation and focus shift is one of them. In a camera conversion, the camera technician will adjust camera focus based on the focal length of the lens. This means the camera owner will need to nominate a lens (focal length) that will be used mostly with the IR conversion. Using other lenses (focal lengths) may require a manual focus correction or use the old approach of stopping down to the smallest aperture and ‘hope for the best’. Of course, with digital capture the results are immediately known and corrections can be made quickly. Also, by using Live View, the results can be seen on the LCD screen as the image is captured.

Extensive experimentation with camera conversions, lenses and filters was done in 2016 by Gale Spring, FBPA. The work was supported by the BCA EFFE (Endowment Fund for Education) Grant and Nikon Australia.

A technical paper on infrared and ultraviolet imaging conversion and applications will be published for BCA after the BIOCOMM 2017 conference.

About EFFE

The objectives of Endowment Fund for Education (EFFE) are to promote and assist study and research in the field of biological communication by the application of scholarship and grants for such purposes, and to promote the Association as a key source of opportunities for the study and research of visual communication media in the life sciences. Learn more by visiting the EFFE web page.


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