Symposium 2024

International Symposium on Biomedical and Scientific Imaging

Science • Art • Communication • Learning • Discovery • Inspiration • Innovation

This event has passed but if you missed the event the Symposium recordings can still be viewed until June 7th 2024.  Register now and a link to the recordings will be provided.

May 15/16, 2024 
1:45-6:20 pm EDT (USA and Canada)

The 2024 International Online Symposium presenters have been specifically invited to represent the wide range of image creation and interpretation from around the world. Although their work may greatly differ, what they have in common is their creative inspiration coming from the nexus between art, science and technology. Their presentations will endeavour to demonstrate the breadth of their imaging as they present their insights into the creative processes that combines science and art into their unique works.

Click on the speakers' names to view their bio.

All times are US Eastern (New York) and are subject to change.

Program / Wednesday, May 15


More than Pretty Pictures

Felice Frankel – United States

Felice will discuss her passion for scientific imaging and her emphasis on communication. Felice is always developing new approaches to promote the public understanding of science through visual expression. This is evidenced in her many publications and her recent book The Visual Elements.


The Beauty of Nature - Discovered with X‑rays

Susanne Diekmann, MD, MSc – Germany

X-rays can reveal hidden structures and give flowers and other natural objects a new look. The detailed view contains a fascinating superimposed representation of natural structures, even without subsequent coloring. In this project the technique of mammography is used to create the X-ray images. This is one of the finest radiological procedures in medicine and it is originally used to display a structure that is not very radiopaque: the breast. X-raying flowers has its own fascination. The aim of the work presented is not to replace or enhance the natural beauty of the objects, but to emphasize it. The artistic approach therefore consists of combining photographic representations with x-ray images to express the natural beauty of flowers.

This presentation will discuss the technique of using X-rays to image natural objects. The optimal selection and positioning of objects will be discussed. Technical issues such as the choice of the radiological modality and the imaging parameters will be described. A particular focus will be on the X-ray path and the creation of photographs in optimal alignment as well as on the combination of X-ray images with photographs.


Getting Started with Photogrammetry

Eugene Liscio, P.Eng – Canada

Photogrammetry is a low-cost 3D technology that requires a camera and software to produce photo realistic 3D models that can be used for many applications. Whether it be medicine, forensics, engineering, or scientific study, the capabilities of photogrammetry are wide ranging and flexible. It’s possible to use a drone or macro photographs to reconstruct objects both large and small.

This presentation will provide a brief overview of what photogrammetry is, how it works, and how you can get started with nothing more than your mobile phone and some software. Capture methods and different photographic approaches will be presented as will different software (some of which is freely available). 


The Atomic Photographers Guild: Imaging the Nuclear Condition

Jesse Andrewartha – Canada

Established in 1987, the Atomic Photographers Guild (APG) is an international collective of photographers dedicated to making visible all facets of the nuclear age. Members of the Guild continue to variously engage the ethical, ecological, historical, and scientific dimensions of both the civilian and militaristic applications of nuclear technology through exhibitions, publications, and bi-monthly online seminars. Past members have included the world’s first two atomic photographers, Berlyn Brixner and Yoshito Matsushige, as well as the first photographer to document the Chernobyl disaster, Igor Kostin. In this presentation, APG Advisory Board Member, Jesse Andrewartha, will illuminate the Guild's journey and showcase a selection of ground-breaking images from members, spanning 79 years from Brixner's pioneering work to our 2024 inductees.


Exploring the Photogravure Technique: A Shift from Traditional to Contemporary Methods

Silvi Glattauer – Australia

This presentation delves into the evolution of the photogravure technique, particularly focusing on the transition from traditional copper plate etching to contemporary methods using photopolymer plates.

Historically, making a photogravure print involved laborious processes with toxic acids and solvents, posing environmental and health risks. However, advancements in technology have paved the way for safer alternatives. Silvi has adapted the photogravure process to utilise a direct-to-plate method with modern pre-press photopolymer plates. Exposed with UV light and etched with water, the technique significantly reduces toxicity. A key emphasis lies in the hybridisation of digital techniques with handcrafted prints, blending modern convenience with traditional craftsmanship. The incorporation of high-quality etching materials enhances the tactile quality of the prints, preserving the essence of the medium, so the end result keeps alive the feel and essence of this age-old print technique first used by the likes of early 20th century photographers, Alfred Steiglitz and Paul Strand. This transition not only revitalises the photogravure process but also promotes safer working practices in print studios, addressing environmental concerns and resource-intensive practices prevalent in traditional methods.

The presentation will highlight key moments in the production of a photogravure plate and print within a traditional etching studio. It showcases equipment, materials and processes.


Emerging High-Speed Technology & Techniques in the Biomedical Space

Phil Taylor – Australia

Working with cutting edge technology in such a wide range of applications presents imaging challenges often never experienced before. Having the ability to draw on knowledge from one industry and apply it in a very unusual setting can yield results which drive a new line of research and discovery. Seeing success in a well-crafted image of this nature is the often-elusive moment a high-speed application engineer strives for.

This presentation will take attendees through a visual journey of application in high-speed technical imagery across a range of industries. It will then focus on the exciting world of biomedical science where technology developments have recently begun to enable optical diagnosis and patient care through the use of old and new techniques from vastly different industries.

Program / Thursday, May 16


Agent of Change

David F. Larraguibel – Canada

The use of photographic documentation in scientific analysis has been standard practice for several decades, but for much of that time has been considered an ancillary or secondary means of documentation. A function to support findings identified and recorded through other scientific means. By extension, the role of the photographer has also been secondary, an individual who used their creative and technical expertise in recording an image to support an investigation or opinion at the direction of the subject matter expert.

Modern scientific documentation requires more. As photographic technology and techniques have evolved, so has the role of photography and inevitably the photographer. It is no longer enough to point the camera where one is instructed and take the shot. The shift from passive observer to active researcher and documentarian has required a paradigm shift in the photographer’s level of knowledge outside their original area of expertise, their relationship to the field they contribute to, and most critically, how they bridge the world of art, science, and technology through communication.

In this lecture I want to share some examples from my time as a Forensic Photography Specialist in the hopes it can help guide others to grow as technical communicators, especially as artists among scientists.


The Art and Science of Documenting Diversity

Charles Hedgcock, RBP, FBCA – United States

The Madrean Archipelago harbors a rich natural heritage of native species and habitats. This 70,000 square-mile region of sky-island mountain ranges straddles the borderlands of the Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico. Chip will discuss his journey over many years with The Madrean Archipelago Biodiversity Assessment (MABA) project and other collaborative art and science projects that have germinated from connections he has made as the lead photographer on the MABA project.


Photographic Life Lessons

Mark Maio – Unites States

Whichever 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. 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 & fine art photography), Mark will discuss how he has found a balance between each half of his photographic life and how this has contributed to the photographic life lessons that have shaped his vision and voice.


Augmented Reality for Teaching Anatomy to Medical Students

Victor Guinto – Unites States

The Hololens has replaced cadaveric dissection and affords the students a flipped classroom model allowing them to study anatomy at home away from the atmosphere of the strong smelling toxic chemical, formalin. Holographic anatomical images seen through the Hololens are fully 3 dimensional and interactive. This presentation will describe some of the technical aspects of the Hololens and the impact on teaching and learning anatomy with augmented reality.


In the age of AI, SciVis is more important than ever

Maja Divjak, PhD – Australia

Scientific visualisation (SciVis) in the form of diagrams, infographics and animation, is an important tool for engaging those without a scientific background because it accelerates an understanding of biology before your eyes. It interests people in biology because they can see and understand it. SciVis shows the beauty of biology and helps the viewer make connections with their biology and bring awareness to an often invisible world.

A recently published scientific article caused uproar in the scientific community, as it included several inaccurate figures created with AI, including an image of an anatomically impossible rat with non-sensical labels. There was much discussion about how the article passed editorial process, calling into question the validity of work published previously in this journal and the reputation of scientists in the broader community. The furore was such that it even made it into mainstream media.

SciVis practitioners are keenly aware of the rarity of their positions and often lament how underrated their contributions are to the field of research. However, this incident has served to highlight that visuals matter and that there isn’t adequate support for this factored into the research and education process. Visuals need to be prioritised as essential to research publication, not viewed as ‘icing on the cake’. At a time when SciVis practitioners fear replacement by AI, those skills are in need more than ever, given the lack of quality data used to train AI models.

SciVis can provide a view into the research laboratory, connecting the lab to the public. If we continue to be supported by taxes, then the public needs to have faith in the research and needs to be included in it via the visuals we create.


Light Painting

Denis Smith – Australia

This presentation is an exploration into the techniques and tools Denis has created for creating the world of light painting, where the boundaries of photography are literally pushed to their limit. Denis loves to explore these limits, often in places they should not exist. In a world where photography has become more about online personas than the transformative wonder we know it can be, let’s take a look at how we create magic with light.