Shaping a Skull…

Usually when I think of Plastic Surgery I think of the same things that 95% of society thinks of.  Nose jobs, tummy tucks, scar removal, or enlarging elements of the female anatomy.  Lets face it too, that is what 95% of the world sees when someone talks about things like that.  Little do most people know that Plastic Surgery can be quite a bit more than that.  In fact, things that people don’t really know you can do with plastic surgery include; Female anatomy reduction  (not the liposuction kind), Foot reshaping to help deal with wear and tear that’s bad on joints or bones, facial reshaping to help sculpt those eyes or cheeks, or chin to that perfect bevel, or believe it or not reshaping your noodle! Skull Reshaping.

(Nikon D4, 80ISO, Nikon 28-70F2.8D@60mm.  1/100th@F4.  Single SB900  zoomed to 200mm set to 1/8th triggered by a Nikon SU-800 from on the camera shot into the wall from sitting on the floor to give a little separation of the skull from the background, the skull was lit by the medical examination tray lamp.)

Yes you read that last one right, and no the skull in the photo above is NOT a real skull.  It is however a replica man’s skull whose surgery I witnessed.  More on that in a bit though as YES;  you can actually have your skull reshaped these days.  In fact a man named Dr. Barry Eppley here in Indianapolis is one of the very few (if not the only) doctor that can do it.  A few months ago I received an email from a publication out of Kansas City Kansas named Plastic Surgery Practice Magazine in regards to photographing a story for them about Dr. Eppley and his procedure of Skull reshaping.  After I got over the confusion associated with the research I did on the process and that the procedure existed, I made a few calls, got the appointments made because I was going to be photographing Dr Eppley, his Spa style office, and actually be witness to a surgery in progress.

(Nikon D4, 50ISO, Nikon 85F1.4D 1/160th@F1.8.  Single Nikon SB900 shot through a 32″ Umbrella to camera left set to 1/4th power, Single SB900 on the ground below the table by Dr Eppleys Feet shot into the wall to give him and the skull some separation from the rest of the photo, and a Nikon SB800 shot into the ceiling to camera right set to 1/2 power as a general Fill to help fight the brightness of the Medical lamp on the Skull from blowing out my highlights.  All Speedlights triggered by a Nikon SU-800 Speedlight Commander from the Camera Hot Shoe).

First off I’d like to say that Dr. Eppley was incredibly nice and was willing to give me all the time that I needed to get the shots that I wanted.  I ended up spending about 2 hours time at his office and he was incredibly gracious for allowing me that much time to photograph both him and the office.  I spent about an hour and a half in surgery with him as well (out of an 8 hour surgery).  I’ve spent lots of hours in surgery over the years in association with our Nursing Quarterly Magazine, but this was different as this surgery was cosmetic.  Just because it’s cosmetic however doesn’t mean that it isn’t necessary.  You see, when someone wants their skull reshaped it can either be because they just don’t like the shape, or because after an accident a wound to their head did not heal properly causing either pain, or some form of disfigurement.  I am not at liberty to discuss any details of the surgery that I was in, but the point is that I was really surprised at how useful the practice of reshaping a skull can actually be.

(Nikon D4, A-ISO 110, Nikon 24F1.4N, 1/250th@F1.4)

The whole experience was pretty neat actually.  I’ve been in and out of operating rooms for the Indiana Nursing Quarterly Magazine that I shoot regularly for, so the operation wasn’t anything new; but seeing the information from start to finish as opposed to just getting an assignment to shoot a surgery for some reason.  Very Cool.  Check out the photos and that the magazine chose, and read the article for yourself HERE.  It’s actually out in the world in Print someplace, but I haven’t physically seen one yet.  Speaking of Indiana Nursing too; it now has a Facebook page for everybody to keep better track of it.  Only about 5 years behind the times there, but you’ll notice the cover photo was shot by yours truly as seen in this post; and HERE.  More Soon.