Category Archives: Medicine

Big Pharma

America’s Favorite Ophthalmologist

I have always thought that my accountant should drive a mercedes, my dentist should have perfect teeth, and my mechanic should drive a 15 year old buick (if you can keep that running you can fix anything). All was right with the world then photographing Dr. Alison Tendler, ophthalmologist and spokesperson for Restasis Eye Drops. As Jack Kerouac said (OK different context) “You got eyes”. She could drift into simple beauty very quickly. I had to keep pulling her back to “doctor” … highly disciplined professional that I am.

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The Eyes have it … Opthalmology

I have spent almost two months photographing the myriad of doctors and researchers at the Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmolgy. It is rare to be engaged in a project for this long and it has been a challenge to create distinctive photographs in a world of labs, conference rooms, and clinical exam rooms. In a word; ya seen one … . The upside is observing this army of very big brains addressing the problem of congenital and therapeutic ophthalmic defects.

Watching and photographing while a surgeon makes an incision on an eyeball strikes very close to home.

Fritz Klaetke (Visual Dialogue) and I decided to maximize the authenticity of the photos, and my process has been quick,simple, and available light(with a lightweight, over the shoulder portable strobe backup system for emergencies). Emphasizing the idea of in focus/out of focus seemed appropriate for the venue. so I am doing mostly long lense and tight; yet another challenge in these low light environments.

Occasionally I will go my own way with the work; just to keep things interesting.

To be in such close proximity to science and medicine for so long, on the one hand, creates a great argument for the potential of the human mind (a perspective that often escapes me these days) and the wonder of the human body: on the other, serves as a stark and humble reminder of how little we really know.

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Stories

See my Stories Portfolio

My first digital shoot was in 1998. It was portraits for Fidelity to be used in a completely illustrated environment. We’ve come a long way since then. I still shoot film for personal projects; never commercially. The digital environment has brought us immediacy, spontaneity, flexibility, and the ability to take risks with a buffer of certainty. It has also afforded us  the potential for a new level of authenticity and, paradoxically, the possibility of  infinite manipulation … strange bedfellows indeed. Where I used to need lots of gear, I can now go into an environment quietly and in the background to tell a story. This method takes me back to my roots as a photographer (think Tri-X  .. the iconic high speed black & white film). It is nice to be back. To fill the gaping maw of websites, I often go into an environment with a couple of cameras to observe and record. This is pure visual storytelling and an effective way to build an authentic library of images for an organization.

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Lots of Docs

Simple concept, nice design, and a production level these folks were not really used to (what do you mean makeup?) I tried to keep things loose and the space open.

 

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