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BCA News: Summer 2017

Reflections and Inspiration from BIOCOMM

“When you can connect your heart to your eye in a photograph you will become a better person.” Paraphrased from Jack Dykinga 6-22-17

What an outstanding few days in the beautiful city of Portland. The weather was perfect and it was good to see old friends, colleagues and meet new ones! Thank you to everyone who helped organize BIOCOMM 2017 – kudos to you - it was a fabulous meeting! To the presenters, thanks for sharing your expertise and passions with us in this great field of Biocommunications, you keep it amazing!

It’s remarkable to see the variety of specialties and how this profession remains immersed in medicine today. This was my first BIOCOMM meeting in 12 years, since the 75th Annual Meeting in Portland, 2005. It was like coming home for me, it reinvigorated my passion for medical photography from so many years ago. I love this field and couldn’t help but drool a little and get an adrenaline rush at the camera equipment and images shared. Whew – so cool! It’s impressive to see what people are doing world- wide.

I was fortunate to have worked at the University of Washington Department of Neurological Surgery with my colleague Paul Schwartz for 20 years, from 1989-2009. We were old school professionally trained medical photographers, had a state of the art darkroom, shot and processed film and printed thousands of images for research, publication, teaching and patient care. We got our first computer in 1992, just when the digital imaging and worldwide web revolution took off, so did we. It was a crazy ground breaking time, we relied on the mentors and experts in our field to learn and walk (or run!) through the transition from all film to all digital, over several years. It was quite a remarkable timeframe. Now photographs are taken with smart phones, social media is a playground and everyone is a so-called ‘photographer’. But we all know differently.

Reflecting back, our Pacific Northwest BCA chapter was thriving and vibrant in the 80s, 90s and 2000s. It was a great group of colleagues all working in the field, we hosted 2 chapter meetings a year, one professional and one retreat, but now ‘poof’ it’s non-existent. Many of us were graduates from the Bellevue Community College Biomedical Photography program directed by Warren Criss. Now in the northwest, it’s hard to find anybody working in the field, the departments are all closed for the most part. Of the few of us from the northwest at this meeting no one is currently working in the field.

I’ve experienced lots of amazing memories over the years. Thank you BIOCOMM presenters for all the inspiration and for keeping this great field alive and well. Keep on keeping on!


Janet Schukar Clardy
Seattle, WA

“Photography has the power to bring back emotions and memories.” – Adam Cooper 2016

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