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Ideas

One of the things that I really love about academia are the ideas that flow, particularly among teams of folks that work well together. Sometimes these ideas coalesce around an idea for a product such as in the case of Paul Bernstein and his team including Moshen and Werner who are building devices designed to measure and determine the health of the retina through Raman spectroscopic detection of macular carotenoid pigments. It is an exciting project that has been underway for a few years longer than our metabolomics effort, so I am eagerly paying attention to these efforts as we are involved in several efforts going on here at the Moran Eye Center with promising scientific and commercial opportunities. At any rate, I was tapped by our development office to run over to Research Park and capture some images of what they are doing for an upcoming Moran Eye Center publication and the images you see here are the result of that.

As an aside for those photographers out there who may be working with scientists and engineers, I have the following piece of advice. Know that your subjects often are interested in helping you to tell the story of what they are involved with. Be assertive and make the image you have in your head a reality. For instance, in setting up these images, I walked in to a poorly lit and curtained room full of gear and optical benches wondering just how to make a halfway decent image out of all of this. I had a flash with me, but no gels for coloring the flash at all. Being a scientist, I was perhaps more comfortable in looking at the light bench to see that there were a number of different visible lasers at varying wavelengths. I told Moshen and Werner that I wanted some creative light and asked if I could unplug some of the lasers. They granted permission and I simply unplugged the fiber optics and placed the outputs on the bench pointing the red, green and blue lasers in various directions to lend some creative light to the scene. Then I turned out almost all the lights except a single adjustable 50 watt bulb, told everyone to remain still and made a longer exposure to compensate. I think they suspected these images would not work, but if you use a tripod and drop the ISO down to 100 or so and balance out your exposure and aperture you can eliminate much of the noise you will get from CCDs.

Categories: Daily.

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