25 Years Ago in JBPA/JBP


Ron Irvine

Disarticulated SkullThis photograph of a disarticulated skull was made by H. Lou Gibson. Lou used the small headlight from a model train positioned inside the skull behind the frontal bone for a one-hour exposure. During that hour, a brief exposure was made with a 15-watt lamp, which was about six feet from the specimen to provide modeling for the external features. The negative was retouched to remove the base of the model train light, as well as the wires used to hold the skull together. Kodak Panatomic-X 5X7 film was used.

In addition to excellent lid retraction made possible with cotton-tipped swabs, this illustration demonstrates the disturbing corneal reflex that results from the use of a ringlight.
B. The closer the ringlight is to the eye, the larger and more disturbing the corneal reflex will be. The illumination also will be very flat.

The cover photograph of Vol. 46, # 4, 1978, is probably one of the best remembered photographs taken by the late H. Lou Gibson, a long-time supporter of BCA from almost the beginning of the organization. In the same issue, authored by Gibson, is the first part of the history of the organization, from 1931 to 1950. This is great reading for the older members. This article was later expanded and presented to delegates at the Boston Meeting in 1980. If you have the opportunity to get a hold of a copy, I highly recommend that you add it to your reading list. Lou Gibson was not only an exceptional photographer and writer, but also was an accomplished poet as evidenced by one of his books, “Light Through The Lens.”

A paper in this issue, “Guidelines for external eye photography,” by William J. Stenstrom, is also worth reading. At that time Nikon produced the “Medical Lens”—a large, cumbersome piece of equipment about which everyone raved. Some may view it anachronistic today because of the ring light, which was used by many to photograph the external eye, with results like those shown dramatically by Stenstrom.

Finally, a paper, “Facts behind exposure determination,” by John C. Compton, tackles a subject difficult for many to follow, least of all to put into practice. However, I found this particular dissertation both illuminating and easy to follow.


With the passing of Peter Hansell, Ron Irvine picks up the pen to continue "25 Years ago in the Journal of Biological Photography" and writes under the pseudonym SCRIPTOR. Irvine is a long-time member of BCA and IMI. He is a Registered Biological Photographer, Fellow of the BCA, and an honorary member of IMI. E-mail: ronirv@kos.net


Copyright 2004, The Journal of Biocommunication, All Rights Reserved

Table of Contents for VOLUME 30, NUMBER 3