This light painting effort from my shoot today includes some of the tools doctors used in days gone by, and reminds me that I am happy to be living in modern times. This small grouping of medical items came to me courtesy of the local historical society, who I have been working closely with to highlight some of the pieces in their collection. The doctors bag is well-worn and one can only imagine the stories it has seen, while the smaller cases still hold pills that would have been prescribed at the turn of the century. The round device in the foreground was used to heat the clear glass domes which, when applied to the body would draw blood out through a vacuum effect, curing the patient of whatever malady they had, or so they thought. The tiny metal device near the glasses would slice the skin with a series of very sharp blades. The two remaining items are what I believe are an early microscope, and a syringe.
The photograph of the doctor was added after my shoot, and was photographed in a locked display case. it was downsized from the larger photo, and I added it because I just felt its nice to see the people who made a difference in their communities and this doctor was one such person. He is Doctor John Franklin Mentzer, born in 1862, and it was said his service to the community could hardly be equaled. He was a Physician, a postmaster during President Benjamin Harrison’s term, Was director of a trolley company, and was a county treasurer as well. In 1904 and 1908, he was a county delegate to the republican national convention, which nominated Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Howard Taft. He died in 1958 at the age of 96.
One important point for those wishing to try this type of image, is you absolutely cannot bump anything during your light painting, or you will not have registration between the various pieces. I bumped the microscope about a half hour into shooting the scene, and thankfully I had that half of the shot already captured. This technique takes a certain amount of dedication to your photography, but I thoroughly enjoy the creative process it entails.