Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Useful and accurate medico-legal photographs

The number of medico-legal cases sent to me for photography seems to be rising, I guess people's minds are more litigious these days, but it is essential that the pictures are really properly done and usable. This applies to all personal injury or accident claims cases.

Two cases recently were referred to me as the 'victims' had had medical photographs done by a non-specialist and in both cases the photographs were rejected as being unrepresentative or inaccurate. Well there's a not-too-surprising lesson: if you want decent wedding photographs, go to a professional wedding photographer; if you want decent medical or medico-legal photographs, come to me or (I guess I have to say this!) another properly qualified and experienced medical professional. Only if your pictures can be certified as an accurate record by a qualified and registered (or registerable) medical photographer will they carry professional weight and veracity.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


So, it's President Obama. A good inauguration speech, mainly predictable (in my humble opinion) but this is one excellent orator and his timing, intonation and general demeanour was superb.

One word really stood out for me. Curiosity. I love it. I think it's curiosity that keeps me going (that and a mortgage to pay) but I just feel that if people have this urge to find out more, discover more, experiment more and get to know the Who What Why Where When about everyhting, then we would accomplish so much more.

That's been the case with medical photographic work. That's what got my department at Great Ormond Street ahead of the field in the 1990s with digital work. I had a fabulous team who were curious about things and wanted to know more. Bless 'em all.

Ans bless Obama. I really do pray he does wonderful things. He's got the foresight, I think, and the ambition. He wants to rebuild - and he certainly needs to. Let's face it, after eight years of GWB there's only one way right now, and that's up. I pray he keeps his curiosity and his ambition.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Challenging blogs

OK, so there are now six zillion blogs out there [approximately :-)] so how do you choose? Well every now and then I come across one that's interesting but Lisa's alrighttit is the first that I have sat for several hours and read, cried and laughed. It's extraordinary. Read it. It will really challenge you.

Medical photographs in hospitals

Been chatting recently to a couple of people who have been in hospital for different reasons, neither of them knowing my background. Turns out both have had photographs taken, in both instances these were taken by the doctor and in neither case were they asked to sign a consent form. Jeepers, this is 2009, do clinicians still do that???

The UK has a register of qualified medical photographers, all of whom know the ins and outs of patient consent, how to take photographs properly (so you can actually see what you're meant to see), what to do with the images afterwards, who is allowed to see them (and who isn't), how to store them securely and how to make sure they're not used for purposes for which the patient didn't give consent.

Does a nurse or a doctor know how to do all that? OK, silly question, of course they don't. So the next time any reader is in a hospital, surgery or clinic and someone comes to take a photograph of you, (a) make sure you're given a consent form to sign which states clearly what the pictures are for and (b) ask why a medical photographer isn't taking them? There's enough of them around for the pictures to be done properly.

And if anyone pulls out a mobile phone and wants to take a photograph, complain loudly and refuse.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

HDR, radiographs and Photoshop

Been getting my teeth into Photoshop CS4 recently and am very impressed with the improved High-Dynamic Range (HDR) algorithms. This set me wondering whether HDR could be useful (rather than gimmicky) for digitising radiographs. I was sent three X-rays for a medical image collection and found them extremely difficult to capture digitally, so I am now running a quick series of experiments using Photoshop's HDR function and Photomatix Pro which I use occasionally for landscape work.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Left brain - right brain

This has got nothing to do with medical photography, but every now and then you see or read or hear about something that is really quite moving.
I was sent a link to a talk by Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuro-scientist and intellectual who suffered a stroke a few years ago. I have an interest in left-brain-right-brain interchange, due simply to my beautiful daughter who was born with dysgensis of the corpus callosum. So I watched this, was very moved by her description of what happened to her and how she coped with it and I continue my quest to try and work out how to deal with my daughter's condition and how we live with, and manage, this over the years. Do watch it, it's not often that you see someone as articulate as this, able to talk about something as life-changing.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Update on medical photography courses

Well, the Staffs course is full for 2009, excellent intake for that year and we're going to work on a video module for 2010 which will then complement the photography and graphic design modules.

The University of Westminster course has not started this past September - too late on the recruitment - but the interest for 2009 is very good so that should be up and running then.