© Gigi Williams FBCA, BAppSc
The symposium program covered a wide range of photographic techniques and applications from experts around the world. Topics included astrophotography, holography, scanning electron microscopy, image stacking, biomedical photography, photogrammetry and more. See the full program below.
1:20 pm - 1:30 pm
1:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Medical photography can be both challenging and rewarding, particularly when faced with less than ideal situations, and under pressure of time, environment, and clinicians’ expectations. Clinical photographs are a scientific record, therefore, should be accurately focused, exposed and framed. They should fulfil the brief and illustrate the subject effectively.
This presentation will discuss and compare the applications of photographic and lighting techniques that have been invaluable in the documentation and diagnosis of multicystic peritoneal mesothelioma (MCPM) and in informing fellow clinicians of the visual appearance of this rare disease.
The clinicians really value the additional information that may be gained from analysing the images that have been captured using expert lighting to demonstrate aspects of the clinical condition that would not otherwise be obvious without using these techniques. This sets professional clinical photographers apart from the amateur photographer.
2:05 pm - 2:35 pm
"Seeing is believing" may be an acceptable way of dealing with photographs on a casual basis. When photographs are required to produce data or give a fair and accurate account of a scene or situation, a deeper analysis must be undertaken to determine how, why, when, where and by whom the photograph was created. Technically speaking all photographs "lie", sometimes by accident and sometimes by deliberate misrepresentation.
This presentation looks at the impact of photography as evidence in courts. It demonstrates how photographs can lie and mislead unless the viewer is knowledgeable of how photographs are created. Illustrated through many real-life examples, this presentation covers the issues that require a ‘fair and accurate’ interpretation of meaning for court. It also covers how the eye/brain can easily be fooled to ‘see’ things that simply aren’t there.
2:40 pm - 3:10 pm
Photogrammetry has grown in popularity over the past decade because of advancements in computer vision and availability of the digital camera which is now in everyone’s back pockets. The applications of photogrammetry span many disciplines from mapping crash and crime scenes with drones to documenting bodily injuries of a victim at an autopsy. This presentation will provide a background to photogrammetry, the importance of taking organized and structured photographs, show the photogrammetry workflow, and provide examples of how this technology can be applied in many areas of forensics.
3:15 pm - 3:45 pm
Capturing clear details and maximum data in our photographs—regardless of lighting conditions—are core competencies for any scientific-related photographer. Through many before and after images in this presentation, Tom Vadnais will describe and demonstrate how a tripod, a polarizer, and one or more flashes allow you to consistently maximize the accuracy, quality, and usefulness of your photographs, which are an indispensable part of every inspection. A tripod isn’t just useful for holding your camera steady, it also allows you work in lower light, make multiple images from a constant position, keep your camera level, create focus-stacked images, and much more. With a polarizing filter, you can control or even eliminate glare in many lighting conditions, revealing information not visible to the naked eye. Using one or more flashes let you direct light where it’s needed to show details in shadows and show textures that cannot otherwise be captured photographically. Used in combination, a tripod, a polarizer, and one or more flashes ensure you consistently record all the detail and data of your subject or scene.
4:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Total Body Photography is a medical procedure used to help detect early skin cancer. A series of color photographs are taken following strict protocols by a certified photographer. Certification of the photographer by an organization like the BioCommunications Association is important to make sure protocols are adhered to and that patient care is maintained. Clear, consistent, color balanced and correctly rendered photographs taken with even lighting are essential because visual aides often help in the diagnosis of melanoma. Autofocus and zoom lenses serve no purpose with this type of photography and should be avoided. Orientation views and detailed views along with a reference of a flat rigid ruler should be used. Color casts from surrounding areas and clothing are problematic with this type of photography and careful attention should be given to prevent this from happening.
Total Body Photography is often used in conjunction with Self Check Examinations performed by the patient. As such, the photographs taken for Mole Monitoring should be accessible to the patient. The images should not be a hurdle for the patient performing the self check nor should the patient need to buy software or other equipment to view. Given the intimate nature of Total Body Photography, patient comfort and confidentiality are vital and informed consent is essential.
4:35 pm - 5:05 pm
The HoloCenter is embarking on a totally unique project, The Virtual Museum of Holography (VMOH). The VMOH is being created to preserve the rich and varied history of Holography and to catalog the ongoing development of this medium before its fragile early work is lost entirely.
The VMOH is a comprehensive database of Holography. It is a free, public access, online, dimensional, comprehensive resource which particularly serves the holographic community of artists, the new wave of exhibition curators interested in holograms, scientists and engineers, as well as the general public worldwide who want to learn about this amazing medium. Anyone with a VR headset and an internet connection will be able to enter a virtual, dimensional gallery of facsimiles of holograms and interact with them as though they were really there.
In this presentation Linda Law, Executive Director of the HoloCenter and Founder of the Virtual Museum of Holography will explain the underlying Light Field Technology that makes it possible for us to create digital facsimiles of holograms which can then be incorporated into our Virtual Museum. These facsimiles of holograms can be experienced in much the same way they are when the original hologram is physically present in the real world although the incredible level of data contained in an optical hologram is not yet possible to be reproduced digitally. She will also detail the HoloCenter’s plans to gather the data of holographic history in a variety of formats that will provide an ever expanding record of the evolution of this astonishing medium.
5:10 pm - 5:40 pm
This presentation will show what we do in the 3D Imaging Centre at The Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. 3D imaging is used to evaluate treatment and review what steps need to be taken for future treatments. We will discuss registration techniques to get the best results for evaluation and show examples of what we capture mainly with craniosynostosis, plagiocephaly and pectus carinatum. We will also show how we create files for spinal orthosis in scoliosis patients and other techniques where we use 3D for clinical and research purposes.
5:40 pm - 5:50 pm
1:20 pm - 1:30 pm
1:30 pm - 2:00 pm
In 1995, eye of science was founded together with the biologist Nicole Ottawa. With our own digitized scanning electron microscope and the highest performance Macintosh computers of the day, eye of science created a new level of quality in scanning electronic microscope (SEM) images.
eye of science works for magazines such as National Geographic and GEO and has provided several cover images for the magazines Science and Nature. eye of science undertakes commission work for advertising and training purposes for the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.
Several books have been published, mainly in German. The exhibitions “microscapes” and “metamorphosis” toured through Europe. In the USA, eye of science images were displayed in Images from Science exhibitions. They were awarded with the World-Press Photo, by BAC and honored with the Lennart Nilsson Award among several others.
2:05 pm - 2:35 pm
Linnea Andersdotter Rundgren
The Stomata Project is a science-art collaboration between a visual artist/electron microscopist, an ethnobotanist and a landscape architect. The project revolves around plant physiology, ethnobotany, climate research and ecosystem restoration.
Through scientific imaging Linnea is weaving together stories of plants and humans whilst delving into paleoclimatology, ecology and the history of the relationships between living entities on the planet. Ultimately Linnea’s vision is to create a book and an exhibition where her work can be condensed into a digestible narrative, with her imagery being the thread that holds the topics together.
In this presentation Linnea will share stories from her experience in the field while collecting samples in an ethnobotanical garden in Hawaii. She will also share her experiences from her lab work in Melbourne and Stockholm, as well as some of the research that she is exploring.
2:40 pm - 3:10 pm
As a 15-year-old chemical lab technician with Geigy UK in the 1950s, David was asked to photograph some crystals with an optical bench microscope (a Watson Holophot). It would only accept glass plates for photography and everything was adjustable, but it led to a much broader interest in optics and photography. Eventually, David ran his specialised lab that served all the divisions in the UK company, offering scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction imaging (XRD), electron microscopy (EM) and much more. All these imaging techniques used specialised forms of technical photography.
In 1975, David accepted an offer to join the then-new Anglo-Australian Observatory, based in Sydney Australia. Astronomical photography was literally a ‘new universe’ to him, but he soon devised new ways of extracting data from glass plates which led to many scientific publications. David also devised a way of making true-colour images of very faint objects from black and white plates.
This brief talk touches on these topics and some of the technological challenges found in imaging incredibly small to incredibly large subjects.
3:15 pm - 3:45 pm
Often microscopes are only used for one purpose: to reach a scientific answer and understanding to solve a problem. It could be difficult to have the time to focus purely on the enjoyment and aesthetic of a microscope slide, rather than be constrained by the experiment, needing to glean as much data as you can from an image. It can be surprising what will end up auto fluorescing when activated by a certain wavelength of light. From pre-made, mass produced slides for high school biology classes, to hastily arranged slides of tea leaves and makeup, it is an incredible adventure to see how these ordinary objects turn extraordinary with a little magnification and light.
Experimenting for fun with available slides is how I placed into Nikon Small World’s competition, starting with image of distinction, moving up to honorable mention, 4th place, and eventually a first place collaborative image with a fellow intern, Teresa Kugler. Even though these images were not part of a scientific experiment, they still hold a mass of information and scientific value.
The first place image of a turtle embryo took the most effort and time of any of our previous images. It involved tiling, z-stacking, and merging of three fluorescent channels to create the final image.
4:00 pm - 4:30 pm
“Transmutations: Visualizing Matter | Materializing Vision” is a multi-media exhibition by Canadian photographer, Jesse Andrewartha, that explores the history, legacy and radioactivity of uranium mining during the twentieth century in Canada and the US. Captured over the course of three years using exclusively analog silver halide film, Jesse traveled on multiple expeditions with hundreds of pounds of photographic equipment, from sub-Arctic regions of Canada to a quarter mile inside the historic uranium mines of southern Utah. In this presentation, Jesse will discuss processes used to create the images along with some of the stories behind the images: the mineral, people whose lives have been impacted by uranium, the ex-miners that toiled decades underground, Indigenous leaders and activists leading the charge to clean up the mines and the places that shifted the balance of power on a global scale.
4:35 pm - 5:05 pm
This presentation looks at the use of high-speed imaging, coupled with specialized visualisation techniques to show the intrinsic beauty found in many natural events. Flow visualisation is a major theme, using methods such as Schlieren or smoke tracing to see fluid behaviours often invisible to the naked eye. Rather than emphasizing the objective, quantitative analysis of fast events for which high-speed photography is often used, this is mostly a qualitative exploration of slow motion, information-rich entertainment, based on the subjective idea that the everyday world is indeed a “cool” place. This becomes especially apparent when the timeframe of fast events is expanded so we can see more clearly how they actually unfold. As I have said for many years, “When you know how to look, there are no ordinary moments”.
5:10 pm - 5:40 pm
The technique of Reflective Transform Imaging (RTI) is a relatively new imaging technique used to create a high resolution, interactive representations of an object. Primarily used in the museum and archive community, this novel technique is still obscure. In this talk I will present what an RTI image is, how it can be used, and show several new techniques for collecting and building RTI images. Also presented will be problems and future challenges associated with the technique.
5:45 pm - 6:15 pm
For the past decade the presenter has used a camera-based, flash illuminated, focus stacking system, to image small specimens and objects at Queensland Museum. During that time, quality and maximum magnifications possible have constantly improved. Use of Mitutoyo objectives, through a lens or microscope attached directly to a mounted camera, that can move in precise steps when required, has produced a quantum leap in image quality. Other advances include better motor control of step sizes, more powerful computers for image processing, improved use of computer power by imaging programs, and the development of AI image-editing tools. These factors have combined to make it possible to provide high-quality, focus-stacked images of tiny specimens to researchers worldwide, instead of having to loan precious type specimens, as was previously necessary.
The presenter’s digital illustration skills are used to digitally clean up specimens and remove pins etc. making images much more useful for displays and popular publications. These skills, as well as image quality and willingness to innovate have led to collaborations with artists, most notably with Maria Fernanda Cardoso on her peacock spider projects. Images produced at Queensland Museum were further edited by the artist and her team. In 2018 two large prints were sold jointly to London’s Tate Gallery and Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art. In September 2021, five large prints were offered for sale by Sicardi-Ayers-Bacino Gallery, at New York’s prestigious Armoury show.
6:15 pm - 6:25 pm
Program subject to change.