The first application of photography to medicine was within six months of the publication of the Daguerreotype process in 1840. Medical photography is a highly specialised and precise form of photography. Its primary function is to put on permanent record the salient features of the subject without embellishment, exaggeration, distortion, deliberate obliteration of detail or recourse to any artistic effects. It embraces the whole field of photography and includes many highly specialised imaging techniques. The competent medical photographer is therefore highly skilled and disciplined. The medical photographer must also understand a great deal of medicine and pathology in order to correctly record the salient features of a case. Medical photography is used to assist in the diagnostic process, to assess a patient's progress and to support medical education and research. Photographs of a patient must be standardised in every respect – scale, colour balance, contrast, positioning, lighting, etc – so that a series of photographs taken over time can be accurately compared (even if they were taken by several different photographers). In addition to these very strict production parameters the medical photographer will work in very challenging conditions: in the tense and time constrained environment of the surgical operating theatre in sterile conditions, with no opportunity to repeat a photograph, in the post-mortem room with cadavers and specimens, in a ward or clinic with distressed and seriously ill patients, on location at the scene of accidents and murders, in the pathology laboratories with highly infectious specimens. This is NOT normal photography!
Both Gigi and Robin qualified and practised as medical photographers. Both have been recognised by the peak industry bodies on three continents at the highest level with Fellowships, Medals, Awards and Prizes.
To view examples of Robin's award winning medical photography click on the photograph of the Achondroplastic Dwarf (below left). To access resources on infra-red and ultraviolet photography click on the MSP site image (below centre). To see examples of Robin's three-dimensional contour mapping of the human body click on the "Family of Man" (below right).