15 Stories #8 The Time-lapse


#8 The Time-lapse

I have always been interested in trying to photograph and scan things that have never been seen before.

A while back I came up with the idea of trying to time-lapse the progression of an eye disease. I did this using retinal photographs from a willing patient who received injections to treat a bleed at the back of his eye.

We took weekly retinal photographs for about 9 months and then stitched them together to form a time-lapse video.

The video was really effective and you could really see the effect the treatment was having on the bleed.

This was the first time this had ever been done. It was published in an online journal and ended up being presented at conferences in Prague and London. The video appeared on wikipedia and was used by the macula society to help patients understand their condition. So it was quite popular.

Not quite as important though as how it was reported in our local press though.

As you can see in the photo, they reported that I was the first person to look inside an eye! A supposed scientific breakthrough only 160 years after a German genius called Hermann von Helmholz actually did it.

You would have thought that the reporter that wrote that story could remember their last eye test. Every Optometrist in the world looks at the back of their patient’s eye every day.

I’m sure you imagine the amount of stick I received when I walked into work at Sunderland Eye Infirmary the next day. The article was pinned to the department door and followed me around for the next few weeks until things calmed down.