In His Hands — Jones Captures Medicine, Mannequins, Runners
The hands: no other tool is so essential to neurosurgery or so expressive of the remarkable sensitivity and skill neurosurgeons must constantly employ. Photographer Johnpaul Jones, editorial photographer for UAMS Media Services, worked for four years to capture the essence of these attributes in the photographic compilation In Their Hands.
Javed Siddiqi, M.D., D.Phil. (Oxon), FRCSC, took photographs for the book, published in September. Jones and former Media Services employee Jeff Bowen arranged the lighting for each shot, which required them to carry a portable lighting studio to various locations, including Toronto; San Antonio, Texas; and New Orleans.
“The hardest part was trying to find different poses for the hands,” Jones said. “One hundred different poses were shot using very directional light and reflectors to kick the fill light in. These were narrowed down to 80 to be included in the book.”
The result is a dramatic one. Black and white photos show the hands of 80 of the most prominent neurosurgeons in the world, including Ossama Al-Mefty, M.D., and M. Gazi Yasargil, M.D., at UAMS.
Dr. Siddiqi approached Media Services with the concept for the book four years ago, during his neurosurgery fellowship at UAMS with Dr. Al-Mefty. He was impressed with Jones and Bowen’s “Faces of AIDS” exhibit and sought their help. The photographers, with departmental agreement, accepted the assignment on a freelance basis. “It was a really interesting assignment, meeting the neurosurgeons on neutral ground,” Jones said. “And it was fun to work on something different.”
Jones has also been busy with other projects. He has two photographical essays on display around campus. One photographic essay “From Desert to Dublin” features Jones’ take on the connections his “photographer’s eye” found in pedestrians and storefront mannequins. “I don’t hunt or fish game, but I will hunt or stalk a photo if I think it may happen,” he said. “I like to look and see if I see things differently than other people.” Another photographic essay “Art in Motion,” displayed in ACRC skyway, documents the Arkansas Joints in Motion Marathon Team over several years.