This video explores my photographic work that has appeared on the cover of The Gerontologist (TG) over the past 15 years. The Gerontologist is published by Oxford University Press, and is the flagship journal of the Gerontological Society of America, and is devoted to multidisciplinary research and education in all aspects of aging.
I started publishing photos on TG back in 1996. The subjects include friends, teachers, patients, and people who I met in my travels and sometimes on the streets of New York City where I live. Most photos were taken in the United States, but some were from international trips to Latin America, Australia and Asia. Some photos were taken on trips for business, and some on vacations. Many of these photos were from travels undertaken expressly to find good images of aging.
I enjoy exploring aging as a visual subject because positive images of healthy aging are uncommon in our culture. In choosing my cover submissions I look for human diversity and inner strength – a quality I have observed as necessary for reaching a productive and healthy old age. Spirituality is also a quality I like to capture. I am interested in how people maintain creativity and life satisfaction well into old age. Like many other artists, I struggle to find subject matter that stimulates interest and evokes emotion.
Many types of equipment were used to produce these images. Until 2006 I used exclusively film cameras including Olympus OM1 and OM2S, and several Nikons, primarily model FE. These were all single-lens reflex cameras, but I also used classic rangefinders such as the Leica M4 and M7. The earlier work was printed in a darkroom, but later negatives were scanned with high resolution optical scanners then printed using inkjet output.
These photos show how I adapted to digital technologies. Digital cameras include the Canon 5D, but I also used simpler models such as the Nikon Coolpix. The cover featuring Kim Chan (October 2009) was taken with a cellphone camera and digitally enhanced in PhotoShop to produce an acceptable cover image.
I am thankful to the editorial staff of TG who have chosen to publish my work over the years. I am lucky to have had the opportunity to develop this body of work which has blended so well with my medical specialty of geriatrics.
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