Nowadays denying the historical value they have or may have had the photographs is absurd. Making a photo is to create a historical document, to help illustrate part of the collective memory of a country. That is, when we photograph we freeze for an instant, thus capturing the reality of the moment, and this image of the present in a future could help historians understand our society. Thus, every photograph becomes a historical document, a visual and graphic testimony of the customs of an era.
Most of what we know happened in the past, in the history of our people. However, today many historians have found in the photograph one more way to understand this not too distant past, they have discovered the testimonial and documentary value of the image.
It is true that many of these images have been retouched, either manually or digitally, but even these modifications tell us the history and politics of a certain society and culture. Thus, thanks to the value of photographs as a historical document, we can understand a certain period, and graphically recompose a past through its characters, fashions or customs.
What is scientific photography?
It is used as a means of recording and dissemination of reality, and is considered a work element to communicate science. Depending on the size of the resulting image in relation to the size of the object we distinguish between photomacrography and photomicrography. Photomacrography is one that allows a detailed image of subjects and structures of large or small dimensions, with an enlargement ratio of 1: 1, while photomicrography is the recording of very small objects, hardly visible to the naked eye, whose Image is projected through a microscope and captured with a camera inserted into it. One of the pioneers in this technique was the French doctor Alfred Donne, who in 1840 captured a photomicrograph of frog blood. Currently there are photomicroscopes that integrate the camera and the microscope. Also included in scientific photography are techniques such as infrared photography, ultraviolet photography and fluorescence photography.
From the point of view of the history of science, photography has played an important role. It was using photographs how Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity was validated. And capturing images in the so-called "fog cameras" were able to photograph in 1931 protons and electrons. In addition, by recounting mitochondrial DNA we have recently succeeded in reconstructing much of the history of life.
Another interesting application is the study of motion with images, pioneered by Eadweard James Muybridge, who used a battery of 24 tiny cameras with tapes attached to triggers that were broken by a horse to drive cameras sequentially and study their Movements. Later, during the 1880s to 1890, Muybridge used 36 cameras to study the movements of various animals and humans. Fruit of his work was the book Animal Locomotion. Later, from the 1930s onwards, H. Edgerton used straboscopic lights managed to capture the movement of a ball or the stroke of a golf player, among other snapshots. It is currently possible to work in the order of picoseconds (10-12 sec) using a pulsed laser as a light source to study the movement in liquids and gases, combustion and detonation, fluid dynamics, plasma research, etc.
Importance of photography in Health Sciences
In this article I want to show the importance that has always had photography in medicine in general and more specifically in pathological anatomy.
We all agree that a picture is worth a thousand words and photography is that, image. Etymologically it is defined as "writing of light" and can express the knowledge of an injury in the closest way, being irreplaceable by all the written explanations that are wanted to make known a certain pathology.
Photography from its beginnings has been true passion of all that we are related both to science and medicine as to art. To those of us who are continually searching for the explanation of a fact, it allows us to portray it with the closest possible realism. Whether it is an injury, a surgical procedure, a living organism, everything can always be better collected in a photographic image. Therefore, it is an essential tool especially in anatomy.
Photography in Legal Medicine
The photographic image is one of the fundamental parts in the clinical documentation of any forensic report and a key piece in the supporting documentation for the demonstration of any data of interest in the clinical documentation that can be provided for the administration of justice.
Importance of photography in certain areas of medicine
In dental clinic
It is not difficult to understand that today photography is playing an essential and essential role in dental treatments, especially in aesthetics and orthodontics, but not only this, it is also the best tool when it comes to Documenting cases, as well as medical-legal support and obtaining the most correct and accurate plan of treatment and diagnosis.
It is fundamental today the support of scientific photography in fields ranging from genetics, botany, zoology, to others such as pathology, forensic medicine, diagnostic imaging, etc.
All scientific fields are closely related to scientific photography. The progress of science is based on the realization of visual information and for this it is imperative the training in photography of the research staff.
In each institute and department of scientific investigation there should be personnel in charge of the development of novel techniques in photography. It is therefore a real delay to dispense with an up-to-date training on the part of the new technicians in pathological anatomy of what can be an increasingly necessary field. It requires personnel who specialize in photography to support different types of work, from engineering to biology.
Ophthalmic Photography is the art of photographing ocular diseases for medical purposes dedicated to the study and treatment of disorders of the eye. Ophthalmic photographers use various techniques to create images of patients' eyes for diagnostic purposes, they work with an ophthalmic medical team to create images of patients' retinas, corneas and other ocular structures to help diagnose and devise treatment plans for various eye-related problems. The quality of an image depends as much as on the photographer's knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the eye, as it does on photographic techniques and technology. But it is through the use of highly specialized equipment used to document parts of the eye.
Retinal PhotographyBasic and Advanced techniques in fundus photography
Ophthalmic Photography: Retinal Photography, Angiography, and Electronic Imaging
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As an ophthalmic photographer, one should have good eyesight so that she/he can successfully capture the necessary images. She/he should also have strong attention to detail, a skill that will help you to detect the minute differences in patients' eyes that lead to correct diagnoses. Because their work so closely with patients, a calm and comfortable manner in dealing with people can be important. And since his/her work is technology-based, should feel comfortable with computers and other digital equipment.
In scientific photography we have:
On the one hand, the Macrophotography: It is the one that allows to reproduce an image with detail of small structures with an enlargement ratio of 1: 1 or greater, with which we are seeing the image at the same or much larger size: double, triple, etc. ...
On the other hand, Microphotography is the recording of images of extremely small subjects, hardly visible even with powerful magnifiers. The image is projected through a microscope and captured with a camera inserted in it.
We also include in scientific photography other important, exciting and very useful specialties such as fluorescence photography, infrared photography or ultraviolet photography, using radiation impossible to see by the human eye.
Ultra-fast photography, where we record events that take place in very brief times, impossible to see or the low-speed photograph that includes those that pass at an extremely slow speed.
Other fields of scientific photography are those that relate to the Earth or Space. They are aerial and astronomical photography.
- Another specialty very interesting and in vogue is the underwater.
- In the field of education and science, photography also has an increasingly important role.
- The camera is one of the greatest inventions that humanity has had.
- Each capture of a camera immortalizes a memory with an image of how it was an event in a place of time and shapes it in an indelible way to show us how it was a concrete fact.
It was in the early years when we began to replace the old reel cameras, with the film inside, protecting it so that it was not guarded by other digital ones. That time of the negatives was rapidly changing towards the digital era. However, the principles of photography have not changed and so I have always tried to explain the evolution from those old analog cameras to the latest digital that we have been incorporating, developing manuals and enthusiastic students with these simple techniques that for so many years were the essential part of photography.
We have changed the films for the digital cards, faster and with greater capacity but the basics have not changed so much. The passion for reflecting a piece of reality remains unchanged.