Mirrors in Early Clinical Photography

February 1, 2016 § 4 Comments

sterileeye-mirrors

Left: Wikimedia Commons. Right: National Museum of Health and Medicine. Creative Commons.

I have published a paper in the Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine called Mirrors in Early Clinical Photography (1862-1882): A Descriptive Study.

Abstract:
In the mid-19th century, photographers used mirrors to document different views of a patient in the same image. The first clinical photographs were taken by portrait photographers. As conventions for clinical photography were not yet established, early clinical photographs resemble contemporary portraits. The use of mirrors in clinical photography probably originated from the portrait studios, as several renowned photographers employed mirrors in their studio portraits. Clinical photographs taken for the US Army Medical Museum between 1862 and 1882 show different ways of employing this mirror technique.

The full article is available at Taylor & Francis Online.

If you are interested in reading the full article and do not have access, please contact me.

Here is an interview with me about the article (in Norwegian).

Here is a blog post on the same subject I posted a few years back.

More photos with mirrors can be found on the National Museum of Health & Medicine’s Flickr-page.

 

Errata:
Reference 13 is incorrectly attributed to the University of California. The correct reference is:

Pitts T. William Bell: Philadelphia photographer [Master thesis]. Tucson: University of Arizona; 1987:12-25.

The document is available online here.

 

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