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Authors: Prof. Robin Williams and Gigi Williams

David Tredinnick

David Tredinnick (Figure 24) was for many years Director of the Department of Medical illustration at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, where he worked from 1959. His first appointment came in 1950 at the Westminster Hospital Medical School, as a medical photographer. After a brief time at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund he returned to Westminster as senior medical photographer and remained there until 1959, when he moved to the hospital where he has stayed for the remainder of his career, "Bart's" - London's oldest hospital.

David Tredinnick

Figure 24 (left). David Tredinnick.

Tredinnick was the first to describe the colour recording of ultraviolet fluorescence photography in1955, in a paper in Medical and Biological Illustration. In this the author showed examples of colour fluorescence photography of the teeth, bacterial plates, specimens and how industrial oil on the back of a hand fluoresced. His examples of bacterial plates showed H. Pertussis having strong characteristic blue/white fluorescence. Also in this paper he showed how a tumour in a bladder specimen was clearly delineated because it did not fluoresce as strongly as the background tissue. He demonstrated that the technique could differentiate between false and natural teeth - the false teeth did not fluoresce (Figure 25). He used Phillips mercury vapour lamps in conjunction with Chance OX1 and Wratten 2B filters. Exposures varied from three seconds to three minutes with an aperture of f/6.8 and Ilford D colour film.

Ultraviolet fluorescence of teeth

Figure 25 (left). False teeth do not fluoresce when using the ultraviolet fluorescence technique.

In a second paper entitled 'further advances in fluorescence colour photography' Tredinnick (1961) developed his technique further by the application of new higher speed colour films and the use of electronic flash tubes. This time the author used a Thompson electronic flash tube fitted with the Wood's envelope in conjunction with commercial Ektachrome film. The author showed an example of colour photography of the fluorescence of tinea capitas in a six-year-old child taken with flash and other fluorescing subjects.

Tredinnick was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society in 1967 for his pioneering research into colour photography of fluorescence and in 2002 the award of the Louis Schmidt Medal of the Biological Photographic Association recognized his lifetime's commitment to medical photography.


  • Tredinnick, D., 1955, "Fluorescence photography in colour," Med. Biol. Illustr. 5:217-223.
  • Tredinnick, D., 1961, "Further advances in fluorescence colour photography," Med. Biol. Illustr. 11:16-21.

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Last modified: 3 May 2002