BCA News: Summer 2019
Member Profile: Elliot Goldstein
What got you inspired to be a photographer/illustrator? Tell us about your career path.
I have always been a creative type. I trained as a cellist and bassist until my early twenties and I initially attended USC's Thornton school of music to pursue a BS in music, until I discovered how much I loved being in the darkroom and experimenting with different developing techniques to get different effects. I transferred to Pratt Institute where I interned at MV Photolab, that handled James Nachteway's and Annie Liebowitz's film processing and printing. I also interned at Bill Wegman's studio where I worked on set with him and his Weimeraners. I worked at the Giant Polaroid, 20x24 studio where I worked with amazing artists such as Chuck Close, Lady Gaga, Mary Ellen Mark, and Julian Schnabel.
After receiving my BFA in photography I worked primarily as a freelancer for 5 years. I shot nightlife, private events, and did copy work doing art gallery catalogues, and shot architecture. The constant searching for my next gig was exhausting after a while and I wanted something that was a little bit more stable. That's when I found my current position on the NYU website and I've been doing medical photography since 2015.
Describe your typical workday.
My typical day ranges from conducting photo-shoots of doctors' headshots, recording lectures, or being in the operating room. An operating room might be a marketing focused shoot, which illustrates the surgeons working. These photos are supposed to sell healthcare so they are free of blood and gore. When I shoot pictures for the surgeon, I document the procedure for an audience of doctors. These photos are explicit and are meant to show the anatomy clearly. In my downtime I work on post processing and other administrative work.
Where do you find creative inspiration when work begins to feel routine? What motivates you to continue in your line of work?
I find inspiration all around living in New York City, from the medical and pathology social media account on Instagram, to the articles I read and museums I visit. I've always had a critical eye. I appreciate how a skilled photographer has composed a shot really well or how different camera and lighting equipment affect a final image. I like to try and try again and rework my ideas to make the image I want. I like to learn and create new things, especially beautiful and interesting things. This is what motivates me.
What technology/software/gear do you use? Are people skills as important as technical skills in your line of work?
I use Adobe Creative Suite, especially Photoshop, Lightroom, and Bridge. I use Canon 5dsr and 5d miii DSLR's at work and Nikon d810 and 800e DSLR's in my own studio.
Do you have special interests outside of work? Do you do photography outside of work?
My interests outside of photography are listening to The Mars Volta, watching Seinfeld, and my cat Purrrlazy. I still work freelance from time to time mostly art or private events.
In my personal work I am in progress of setting up a home studio. I am looking forward to working in the studio environment where I can have complete control of how my subject will look.
Do you have any advice for photographers/illustrators interested in a career in biomedical/life sciences photography?
Internships and jobs seeking is a full-time job until you have a full-time job.
Pictures always tell a story. Please include some examples of your favourite images and tell us a little bit about them?
Amputation of Middle Finger With Bone Dust captures the moment of the bone dust flying away from the bone saw in a painterly fashion.
Lastly please tell us about any awards you have received?
Amputation of Middle Finger With Bone Dust won an Award of Excellence in BioImages 2018. This year I had two images in the BioImages Salon.
I also received honorable mentions from the hand surgeon society for some images. Pratt Institute archived some of my student design work and my photography thesis.
To learn more about Elliot and to see more of his photography please go to:
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