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Photography pearl: A novel technique to stabilize tangential lighting sources for better photography and videography in dermatology
How to cite this article: Mukhtar M. Photography pearl: A novel technique to stabilize tangential lighting sources for better photography and videography in dermatology. CosmoDerma 2022;2:128.
Dermatology depends solely on clinical examination and photography of skin lesions. Images and videos taken under room light are insufficient for a clear morphological assessment without tangential or ring lighting [Figure 1a and b]. A torch and a headlamp are ideal possibilities for tangential or side lighting for clinical examination.[1,2] However, there are issues with tangential light source assistance and its stability on body parts, particularly the face and neck, while taking images and making videos. Getting good-quality images and videos is difficult without the stability of the lighting source and the body part to be photographed.
To address the aforementioned difficulties and their undesirable implications, we employed a torch and mobile stand to obtain consistent tangential lighting. The torch is fixed in the stand (overhead, desktop) instead of being mobile. After this, the patient’s head is supported with one hand once the torch is turned on, and light is focused from a distance of 1–2 feet (depending on the power of the light source) on the part at an acute angle for better visualization of skin morphology [Figure 2a]. Clinical images and videos are created without the assistance of an assistant under indirect tangential lighting, which is passed over about 2–4 inches of skin surface [Figure 2b and c, Video 1]. For a better image, the head, face, neck, upper limbs, and oral cavity are gradually moved or guided with the hand in a controlled manner during videography. During photography and videography of trunk and lower limbs, the patients should stand or sit on revolving patient examination stool while slowly rotating their body parts such as lower limbs and trunk. This indirect tangential lighting might solve the ring lighting issue for better clinic photographs and videography. Thus, this innovative approach of stabilizing less expensive tangential lighting sources for improved dermatological photography and videography could be useful for highlighting skin lesions.
Video 1:Video 1:The video is made in indirect tangential lighting without focusing it on forehead skin.
Declaration of patient consent
The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent.
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Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
Videos available online at
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