Six Questions With Photographer Kieran Dodds

The photojournalist talks about his Bionic Man assignment and what his plans are for taking over our Instagram account

Photographer Kieran Dodds has temporarily taken over the Smithsonian magazine Instagram account. (Kieran Dodds)

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Award-winning Scottish photojournalist Kieran Dodds is taking over the Smithsonian Instagram account this week. Kieran’s photograph of the Touch Bionics iLimb Ultra graces the cover of the current issue of Smithsonian. He corresponded with the photo editor Jeff Campagna below:

What intrigued you about this assignment?

Well, naturally, I am prejudiced against robots (due their potential to take over the world) but at this moment a bionic hand beats a new smart phone any day!  Having studied animal physiology I am aware of the complexity of organic systems so I wanted to see how far people have come to copying nature's blueprint.

How did you initially approach it?

We took a while to work out the different gestures and then translate the most suitable into two dimensions.  We tried different lighting, background and props but in the end the cover shot actually came once the 'safe' shots were in the bag and we were messing around with the hands.

What was the most interesting thing you learned from the photo shoot?

Hands are amazing!  The technology sheds light on how incredible are human hands–the range of movement, the balance of sensitivity to strength and their fine-tuned controls.  But this technology is life-changing for the user, and I am excited to see how it develops over the coming years.

So besides shooting robotic hands, what kind of projects have you been working on recently?  


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