Stereo(tactic) Photography

Inspiration for today’s image comes from the Merriam-Webster “Word of the Day” today: stereotactic. (Because I subscribe to “Word of the Day” via email, I receive such tidbits on a daily basis. What better blogging inspiration than one’s inbox?)

As I read the definition, I felt that it cried out for an image, and sadly, Merriam-Webster doesn’t indulge its readers (at least its non-paying readers) with such niceties, so I did a quick Google image search. Most of the top results look fundamentally like the image above, but it immediately attracted my attention.

The image comes from the University of Arizona’s Biomedical Communications page of medical photography. It’s categorized as “Illustrative Photography,” along with images as varied as fall leaves, a sunset, and a palm tree silhouette. Ignoring those others for a moment, however, I have to express admiration for the “stereotactic” image.

I like it because none of the other drawings or diagrams I saw gave me any (or at least much) more information than I get from the above, although multiple views of the device could certainly make things clearer. The photo manages to illustrate its concept with remarkable clarity and aesthetic sense. Good work, in my opinion. Perhaps others’s opinions vary?

As an aside, I should add that the Wikipedia article on stereotactic devices actually has no illustrations whatsoever. I wonder if the U of A would put this one in the public domain…?