Posted in In The News, tagged photography on January 20, 2011 |
Leave a Comment »
Many of my optometric colleagues have a passion for photography. Is it the “eye as a camera” analogy, or the fascination with lenses and optics? I’m not sure, but if you find yourself amidst a large group of optometrists, chances are several of them will have their cameras ready. I am one of those optometrists with a camera, and that has drawn me to follow the life and work of Milton Rogovin. Dr. Rogovin died a few days ago at the age of 101.
Dr. Rogovin graduated from Columbia’s optometry school in 1931. He moved to Buffalo, N.Y. in 1938 and opened an optometric practice. In 1942, he bought a camera. As a witness to the plight of the working poor and unemployed, he became politically active, and began to attend meetings of the Communist Party. He was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1957, but he refused to testify. He was labeled as “Buffalo’s Number One Red” and his optometric practice was ruined. He began to devote more time to photography, and the rest is history!
Rogovin’s photography became his voice, and he became a “social documentary photographer.” Before undertaking a new photography project, he wanted to be sure “it would have the possibility of dealing with problems of people, especially the poor, the disadvantaged, the forgotten ones.” His images brought new light to issues of social justice, beginning in his hometown of Buffalo and eventually spanning the globe. Rogovin chose not to focus on the hopelessness and hardship of the people he photographed, but rather on their dignity and strength. In one of my favorite series, he photographed steel mill workers both at work and at home with their families.
Dr. Rogovin remained politically active even when his health declined and he put down his camera. In 2003, he stated, “All my life I’ve focused on the poor. The rich ones have their own photographers.” I’d like to think we can all learn something from Dr. Milton Rogovin.
View his photographs.
Watch the trailer for a documentary about Miton Rogovin.
Read an interview with Milton Rogovin from 2004.
Read Full Post »
Today’s guest blogger is Dr. Kara Heying. Dr. Heying practices in Cedar Rapids, IA. She presently serves as a member of COVD’s Board of Directors.
I had the opportunity recently to learn more about visual science through the eyes of Fighter Pilots – specifically though the eyes of the Blue Angels. How did I get the honor of spending the day filming, interviewing and learning from these decorated Lieutenants? It all began over 2 years ago when a connection was made in my community between a team of creative producers and some local physicians/scientists. The production team was working together for science, developing a blended experience between film and physical experiment geared for kids. The project developed a name called the “Science of Thrill,” and the details and scope of the project continued to expand over time. Today it is projected to end with a multi-episode series teamed with middle school science curriculum and supported by the National Science Foundation.
The Orange County Choppers was the first group of “thrill seekers” to be involved in the project. Since that time additional Thrill Seeking Sports, Technology and Motor/Aviation participants have also become involved.
I was brought in as the first vision expert because the co-producer had a daughter who was a patient of mine and had recently completed vision therapy for the remediation of her visual motor, visual spatial and binocular vision dysfunctions. Her daughter had a long standing diagnosis of dyslexia and had been working hard with her school and teachers to utilize multi-sensory instruction to allow her success in learning. Through these approaches she had become a very good reader and excellent student. However, despite all her customized learning strategies she continued to lose her place as she read and struggled to copy from across the room. She was also very tired by the end of the school day, and although she was involved in sports her coordination was questionable. By adding vision therapy, her compromised visual system was able to be improved and give her even further academic and sports success. She noted and expressed to her Mom that she felt improvements in tracking (or keeping her place while reading), speed of reading and experienced less fatigue in school. By the end of vision therapy her Mom had a whole new appreciation for vision and the important role it played in learning, performance and behaviors.
As the need for expert advice behind this Science of Thrill project developed, the production team decided they wanted some interpretation on the visual system. They needed an eye doctor! Fortunately, due to this co-producers experience with her daughter’s vision therapy, they realized that my credentialing made me the perfect local fit. They wanted information about the visual system and its integration with the body and mind. My job became to help them understand the large variety of ways in which vision is involved in these thrilling experiences. They didn’t just want to understand the physiology and mechanics of the eye; they wanted to understand how the brain and eyes were connected!
After some time it became clear that the possibilities for this project were endless. I decided to approach the producers with a request for further support and involvement from my network of vision experts in Developmental Optometry. I informed them of the association within Optometry called COVD (College of Optometrists in Vision Development) which is dedicated to helping Optometrists gain access to education in this specialty field and which also provides the public knowledge to ensure access to appropriate care. In addition we wanted COVD to be the voice of the vision expertise involved in the project. Thus, the collaboration between COVD (College of Optometrists in Vision Development) and the Science of Thrill was established. At this point we have a task force created within COVD to help develop more visual connections for the Science of Thrill episodes.
I have been fortunate to be invited to participate in this exciting project called the Science of Thrill, and I feel we within Developmental Optometry have been given an opportunity to reach the public in yet another way. Creating numerous avenues to reach people about the importance between vision, learning and function is certainly one of our goals within COVD. As doctors and specifically as Developmental Optometrists we know our work will never be complete, but we can continue to close the gap of confusion between vision and learning by expanding awareness so children and adults don’t suffer with treatable visual conditions. We all know that there is a lot of visual science within Thrill – so I along with your COVD Science of Thrill task force will work to represent COVD and inform the pubic of the extensive science of vision within “Thrill”.
Read Full Post »
Congratulations to Dr. Dominick Maino, who is helping to spread the word about how optometry can help people suffering from “3-D Vision Syndrome.” Do you (or your child) suffer from headaches, double vision, nausea or other symptoms when you watch a 3-D movie? You may be a candidate for vision therapy to improve your binocular vision. In addition to being able to appreciate 3-D movies, you might discover improvements in other activities, in school, at work, and in sports.
Read more in this article in Techlicious.
Read Full Post »
A front page article in The Wall Street Journal on December 31, 2010 warned parents that children 6 years old and younger should not play 3-D games on the Nintendo soon-to-be released 3DS hand-held game machine. Nintendo is concerned that looking at 3-D images for a long period of time could have an adverse effect on the eyesight development of young children.
Nintendo should be applauded for discouraging young children from using their NEW 3D technology! The first six years after birth are critical years. The visual systems of young children are maturing along with their muscle control and their movement systems. Visual development is aided by movement. That’s why infants should be allowed plenty of “tummy time” to learn about how to manage their bodies while coping with gravity and to creep and crawl to explore their environment. Toddlers and older children should be involved with walking, running, skipping, swimming, drawing, coloring, playing with building blocks, etc. Visual development may be limited in children who are sedentary, whether they are restricted in a play pen or sitting on the sofa watching TV or playing video games, 3-D or not.
Nintendo also advised that, “. . . users should take a break every 30 minutes when playing games in 3-D format or stop playing immediately if they feel ill.” People of any age, who have difficulty in using their eyes as a team, may experience symptoms of nausea, dizziness or eye strain when using 3-D technology. Convergence insufficiency is a common problem in which the individual finds it difficult to efficiently point both eyes at near targets. The Convergence Insufficiency Treatment Trial, sponsored by the National Eye Institute, demonstrated that optometric vision therapy was the only method to significantly improve the symptoms and visual measurements associated with that eye coordination problem.
In summary, children should be encouraged to participate in movement rather than sedentary activities. It is good advice to take breaks when engaged in any viewing of near objects. If you feel ill while playing 3-D games, you should consult a developmental optometrist who can diagnose and treat conditions such as convergence insufficiency.
For more information, go to:
This blog post was written by Dr. Dan Lack, from Lake Katrine NY. Dr. Lack is the author of the recently published article, Another joint statement regarding learning disabilities, dyslexia, and vision—A rebuttal.
Read Full Post »