PHO705: Medical imaging

The basis of my Abstract practice is the healing glow captured by the camera sensor enhanced in post-processing. In my endeavour to research appropriate visual language, I’ve looked towards the scientific and medical communities to determine how such work enters the wider consciousness including the public. Through investigation I’d hope to understand how my images might be viewed and how I might layer in certain types of graphic. For example representations of XY chromosome and DNA test strip.

The latter I’d used to give context to the viewer and I’m looking for creative ways to expand the visuals.

Clinical Photography Guidelines

When photographs of healing are digitally processed I often find expression through highly saturated colours. From the heat camera image below there is a similar palette and so there is a consistency. There is a tendency to work in monochrome which suppresses these colours. My research determines if colour trivialises my work or represents a wider consciousness.

Voluntary adoption of working guidelines of Clinical Photography. (Naylor, 2003) creates an association with medical photography. The method leads to a closer inspection of healing sites and sometimes observations are made which can trigger the curiosity but is sidelined. However, the heat camera article in the newspaper serves to remind that medical observation can follow.

The heat camera item is a newspaper article and doesn’t carry the same weight as funded medical research. The Medical Photography heading though, does have weight. A reading shows there to be a new or emerging science of light in diagnosis. Even as a visual only there is close correspondence to the art images I make within the project.

In conclusion, it seems valid that I should anchor my work to medical science at least on a visual basis. This gives hope that the viewer of abstract art may read and correctly interpret the signs given.

The last item below, In Conversation, brings attention to the crossover between biological sciences and art. I feel this validates my choice of subject of healing glow as it sits at the boundary of art and science.

Commercial Heat Cameras

What has triggered the post were two more coincidences. A newspaper article reported on heat detection of cancer (Parker, 2019)

Bal Gill / PA

Medical Photography

Notice has been sent out regarding How light “of many different colours and flavours” can be used to diagnose disease in a number of remarkable new ways. (Macdonald, 2019)

RPS Medical Group

In the photograph above the red coloured left-hand image is very similar to the appearance I create within my image sets. The structure also has a correspondence with my work. This means the abstract practice is quite well founded in colour and form.

In conversation: Viewing the Invisible

Scientist and artists were brought together to explore the similarities in their working methods in Viewing the Invisible. (NPG, 2019) I was able to talk with a number of scientists about my art perspective on mitochondrial DNA.

In Conversation – National Portrait Gallery


Macdonald, J. (2019) Optical Imaging – a new horizonRPS Events. Available at:

Naylor, J. (2003) Clinical Photography: A Guide for the ClinicianJournal of Postgraduate Medicine. Available at: (Accessed: 8 February 2019).

NPG (2019) Viewing the InvisibleNational Portrait Gallery. Available at:

Parker, C. (2019) Heat camera spots day-tripper’s breast cancerThe Times.

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