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BCA News: Summer 2018

BIOCOMM 2018, Wow!

Susanne Loomis, MS, FBCA, President

Wow, the 88th Annual Meeting of the BioCommunications Association is in the books. What a wonderful BIOCOMM 2018! The turnout was on the small size but that did not stop us from having a great program full of new information and insights into the tried and true.

BioImages was fantastic and the images and videos were of the best quality. Please go to the gallery and see all the images that were accepted into the salon. Thanks to our judges Marie Craig, Paul Crompton, FBCA, Kathleen Wagner, MFA, CMI, and Will Willner, RBP, FBPA, and our Chair, Charlene Baron.

Andy Davidhazy presenting at BIOCOMM

It was fun to have Andy Davidhazy, who flew in from Hungary to be with us to present the Maria Ikenberg Lindberg Keynote Address. Andy took us on a journey from a car trip across America to Iraq’s streets and upheaval; from a design campaign for a Chinese shoe company to photographing the Women’s March in DC, and from Egypt’s civil disturbance to documenting every mile he walked the Pacific Crest Trail. His talk got our creative juices flowing and set the mode for the rest of the meeting. Visit his website at http://www.davidhazy.com.

microscopyJim Wetzel and Jamie Hayden kept the juices going by talking about sharkskin and bio-mimicry, and microscopy with a greater depth of field. Their talks made me realize that research is still finding many avenues that are untouched and just waiting to be found. Nature is amazing!

Dr. David Graham had us all seeing double and in 3-D with his talk about converting 2-D images into 3-D images. David has some easy techniques for conversions and had some beautiful examples for us to try and see in 3-D. He continued the exploration with a workshop using participants’ images and showed us how to figure out which technique works the best for each image. I found having a handle on the “Magic Eye” books really helped me see the 3-D.

Jim Wetzel and Jamie Hayden brought some microscopes for participants to try out. Jamie asked Leica – Microscope Systems for a few scopes to play with and they sent us three along with their rep Jim Leisy. Jim Leisy jumped in and helped Jamie and Jim Wetzel with their workshop. Thank you, Leica and Jim.

Thursday, we continued the exploration of our expansive field of medical and scientific imaging by going back through the history of medical photograph with Paul Crompton. Paul’s images from the early days of photography where fascinating. I cannot wait to see his book!

Ken Meats brought us back to the present with a great overview of screen capture for video and how he sets up his equipment to record BIOCOMM.

Simon Wells presenting at BIOCOMMSimon Wells, a first timer from Scotland, gave a wonderful presentation of optimizing photo dermoscopy with great examples of what he is doing. Anyone doing dermatology photos may want to watch this talk when it’s published to our YouTube Channel. Simon also doubled as our meeting photographer! Thanks Simon and we really hope you come back, kilt and all!

After our Business Meeting and Town Hall we continued our day with Kathy McFall’s talk about an application her hospital is using to secure images taken on digital phones/tablets (SCIT). Kathy’s group took the lead by finding and setting up the app, realizing that there was a need and wanting to be more proactive with it. We are all in this corner of dealing with digital images from mobile devices. It’s here, it’s not going away, and we need to be the experts.

Adam Cooper demonstrating the Boomerang flash bracketOne part of the meeting I always enjoy is Infoshare because I never know what I’ll take away from it. Tom Hurtgen started by showing us how his creative processes and long career set him up to create the “Hurtgen move-anything wheelbarrows”! A fine example of how we are all becoming Jack-of-all-trades. Adam Cooper showed us a great little flash bracket while Sue Loomis told us about her progress learning how to print 3-D. Jamie Hayden has a sling camera strap he really likes and Ken Meats discussed DSLR for video and some add-on software to help. Paul Crompton showed us his digital book and videos about “Mothers of Africa”, always inspiring. And Katharine Hanlon needs ideas and thoughts about pursuing careers in medical photography.

After two days of air conditioning and sitting, we took off to walk over to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) for a tour of their photography facilities. Some wanted to dive into the fixer and sleep in the darkrooms while others enjoyed the galleries. It was fun walking down memory lane. Thank you to Rick English for the tour.

Well no one can say we didn’t have time to explore Savannah at night. The nights where beautiful and the food excellent.

Dr. Denise SmithOn our last day, Dr. Denise Smith from SCAD, talked to us about her work with ancient burial grounds located within Georgia. Expanding our knowledge of human history is always fascinating. Growing up with a “European” look at the world has always made me wonder about other peoples and how they lived. Thank you, Denise, it was nice to see, and I hope we can help you with your photography of the rocks and other artifacts.

Katharine Hanlon showed us some interesting uses for cross-polarized and parallel-polarized light. Using some of the tools in Lightroom and Photoshop to help in capturing a better image is really important. I always wondered if enhancing images without destroying information was acceptable. This seems to work.

Two dear friends showed up to close out the regular part of our program and it was fun. Bill Durrence and Bill Fortney have always inspired me to see things differently. I think as medical and scientific imagers we close that pure artistic eye sometimes. Both of them reopened it for me with their images. I enjoyed going down memory lane with Bill Durrence. Bill, I didn’t know your “early years” so that was fun seeing how you started. Bill Fortney didn’t disappoint with his beautiful images capturing moments of light. Thank you, guys. You are always welcome to join us!

The tradition of ending our program with the Anne Shiras Pioneer Lecture continued. This year’s lecturer was Mark Maio. Mark has been a friend of many BCA members for years. His work in ophthalmic photography has definitely been pioneering. Mark worked on the first high-res digital imaging system for ophthalmology and helped in developing the ophthalmic photography program at RIT along with Bill DuBois and Michael Peres. Thanks Mark, your journey has been broad and inspiring.

Mark Maio presenting at BIOCOMM

Comments from BIOCOMM Attendees

"The BIOCOMM meeting was a great opportunity to meet old friends and find new ones. There is no substitute for getting together in person and sharing experiences, both formally through presentations and informally over drinks at the bar. Proper, person-to-person networking is so important, especially in challenging times.” – Paul Compton

“I would like to thank Connie, Susanne and the rest of the gang for the warm welcome I received.  I enjoyed listening to the presentations on Friday and learned a lot about the various questions and ideas your members are working out.  I hope you enjoyed your time on Tybee Saturday.  Bill Durrence no doubt set up a wonderful itinerary for y'all.  Thank you again for everything.  I can't wait to hear about next year's meeting.” – H. Denise Smith, Ph.D.

“From my perspective as a first-time registrant, BIOCOMM 2018 was an outstanding success. The presentations were of high quality.  As a retired pathologist I must say that Simon Wells’ presentation re: The Photographer’s perspectives on, and responsibilities with dermoscopic imaging was an even brighter spot for me among a number of other excellent highlight presentations. I was, of course, gratified at the reception my presentation on 2D to3D conversion received, as well as by the excellent feed-back during my workshop. BCA is a wonderfully congenial group, and I feel regret at not having earlier being active with the organization and attending meetings. The experience of BIOCOMM 2018 was certainly well worth the trip from South Dakota.” – David L. Graham, D.V.M., Ph.D., Dipl.A.C.V.P.

“Dear Adam,
I trust you are well. It was such a pleasure and delight to have met you at BIOCOMM 2018. Nazeema and I would like to thank you for your friendship, hospitality and support you have accorded me. What a conference and what organization of a well-oiled event! We both enjoyed the conference and especially the excellent papers delivered. Our souls were fed with good things.

As shared with you, the BCA must remain, and the BCA must continue. The membership will improve, I am sure it must. I enjoyed receiving my BCA Fellowship, it is such an honor. I always felt working in South Africa despite having staff and University management around that I was working in isolation. This recognition has given me renewed hope!

Stay well Adam and kind regards,
Hoosain M Ebrahim"

Some of the attendees stayed an additional day for the post conference workshop with Bill Durrence. Adam Cooper, RBP, FBPA has provided details and photos in a separate article about the experience.

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