I think that we can all agree that today’s world is much more complicated than past lifetimes.  Today’s world has technology which in essence is supposed to make life easier, better, safer and longer; but it doesn’t necessarily delivery all of its promises without help.  Personally I’m pretty sure my iPhone is smarter than I am, Shannon is definitely much smarter than I am, however she and I had had a pretty hearty laugh the other day when she confessed as to that she knew almost anything; but only when her phone was with her.  I remember growing up and having to know the phone numbers to call my friends; or even my dad at work.  Back when phones were wall wall mounted, or even had those rotating number dials on them.  I always used to pretend like I was a secret agent when I was a kid, putting in some code into some sort of enigma machine in order to make contact with home base in order to get my secret mission.  Usually on the other line it was grandmother though, who really was just happy that I had called.  I digress though, as technology has made things great, but also needs to be managed.  Not everything works forever, and sometimes repairs are necessary.  This is especially so in hospitals where honestly I’d prefer to have the latest and greatest technology when it comes to getting well to be with my family.  When 24×7 magazine contacted me a few months ago to help honor the woman chosen as Hospital Technology Manager of the year, I couldn’t think of another job at a hospital that is often forgotten by the world outside the hospital to deserve some attention.

(Nikon D4, 50ISO, Nikon 24F1.4N, 1/125th@F1.4.  Nikon SB900 Speedlight set to iTTL bounced from a 32″ reflector to above camera left, Nikon SB700 set to 1/32nd power on the floor shooting up towards the MRI machine to light the front, and a Nikon SB900 on the floor with a 1/2 CTG behind the MRI to give the machine some separation with a little color.  All lights triggered by a Nikon SU-800 on the cameras Hot Shoe)

That’s Karen Waninger of Community Health network here in Indianapolis.  She was chosen by 24×7 magazine to be the Hospital Technology Manager of the year this year.  Basically as she described it, when something in the hospital breaks; she is in charge of the staff that un-breaks it.   In their office they have someone familiar with every screw, every light, bolt and purpose of every machine in the Community Hospital system.  It would be like having a Nikon Repair faciilty in my basement.  How cool is that?

(Nikon D4, 800ISO, Nikon 14-24F2.8N@14mm.  1/30th@F8)

Karen was incredibly nice and generous with her time.  I think I spent just over an hour at the Community South Hospital here in Indianapolis.  We had a little fun since I guess the running joke is that her staff works for candy:

Otherwise she was also generous with her staffs projects.  We interrupted a MRI Machine’s calibration in order to take some photos of her with it slightly disassembled.  The Poor tech.  He didn’t work for the hospital but he indulged us anyway by removing the item the MRI was scanning to calibrate (a jar of some sort filled with plain water) and by opening the machine up for us to take some photos of not just Karen, but of her staff doing the kind of work THEY would do on a MRI machine as well.

(Nikon D4, 200ISO, Nikon 24F1.4N.  1/80th@F1.4.  Single Nikon SB900 bounced out of the “hood” of the MRI Machine to illuminate the faces of the Tech’s, while also allowing the flashlight to illuminate the panel in front of them. Speedlight triggered by a Nikon SU-800 Commander). 

It was really neat to see and learn about this operation inside of the hospital.  I guess I never really thought about needing an in house set of “mechanics” if you will, in order to keep the equipment functioning on a daily basis.  I suppose I just assumed that they called an off site tech in order to fix things; but that’s just not usually the case.   Really though, each of the staff members is vital at keeping the hospital’s technology running and Karen is in charge of all of that.

(Nikon D4, 400ISO, Nikon 14-24F2.8N@14mm.  1/60th@F4.  Nikon SB900 zoomed to 105mm aimed at the wall under the shelf on the desk to illuminate Karen and her associate.  Single Nikon SB900 st to iTTL -1.0EVon a shelf to cameras far left to add a little fill to the room.   Speedlights triggered by Nikon SU-800 Commander unit from the cameras Hot Shoe.)

In the end I suppose the point is that with great technology comes great maintenance.  I know that I have lots of problems with my laptop, home network,  my iPhone or even just my camera telling me a memory card is unreadable.  The more wheels, gears, and sprockets you put into something the more difficult it is to keep running.  While technology is great it also takes some ability to be autonomous out of the hands of the users.  I admittedly feel a little lost without my iPhone or iPad, my car tells me how many miles I can go before I run out of gas, and I when I shoot sports I transmit the images immediately from my computer across the country to whomever may need, want, or require that I be there in the first place.  Despite the fact that technology is here to stay, it’s still a team effort.  Whether you are a team using the technology doing things nobody has been able to do before; or you are the team fixing them so that you can do your job.  Everybody on a team plays their part; whether you’re the one showing the group something new, or whether you’re reporting the broken gear in the first place.

(Nikon D4, 2000ISO, Nikon 28-70F2.8D@40mm.  1/125th@F4)

Check out 24×7 magazine’s article about Karen Waninger.  I’ve shot a few other magazine articles recently too for a few different publications, but those are for issues still coming out this year so stay tuned.  Until then though, more soon.