Saturday, June 16, 2018

John Nash Ott Showed Us How To See A Little Further...,  |  John Ott, Sc.D. Hon., a naturalist photographer world famous for his ground breaking work on the health effects of sunlight and artificial light, died peacefully April 6 at the age of 90 in Sarasota, Florida. 

He pioneered the use of rare-earth phosphors in fluorescent tubes to create the effects of natural sunlight indoors that is often referred to as full spectrum light. He also identified that the artificial light and cathode-ray-tube radiation, produced from fluorescent tubes and television sets, created plant mutations and unnatural forms of plant development with the potential corresponding effects in humans. 

His wonderful dual legacy to us is the understanding that sunlight is a holistic and essential nutrient to a healthy life and that artificial light, produced by conventional bulbs and fluorescent tubes, is not healthy. He showed that artificial light can be converted to full spectrum to simulate sunlight for indoor use. 

John Ott's passion for photography in studying motion and life led to his involvement with time-lapse photography. He was hired by Walt Disney to film the famous time-lapse plant growth sequences used in Disney Studios' The Secrets Of Life, Nature's Half Acre, the pumpkin-to-coach sequence in the movie Cinderella and other nature films. It was during this period that he identified the biological effects of artificial light on plants and animals and the need for natural light in their growth. Over the next 40 years he continued his groundbreaking research into the effects that natural light, brought indoors, could have on plants, animals and now people. He conducted research on the effects natural sunlight had on the learning and behavior of children, the increased generation of Vitamin D, the production of melatonin/seratonin when light enters the eyes and the light deprivation syndrome now widely known as "Seasonal Affective Disorder" or SAD. He advocated the continual need for sunlight in our lives and to replace standard indoor lighting with a better full spectrum sunlight variety. 

Dr. Ott received an Honorary Doctorate of Science Degree from Loyola University of Chicago. He was the founder of John Ott Pictures and John Ott Laboratories. He authored many books and articles and gave literally thousands of lectures at conferences, scientific symposiums and to the general public over the years, including lectures to the Cancer Control Society. 

His widely read books include Health And Light: The Effects Of Natural And Artificial Light On Man And Other Living Things; Light, Radiation And You: How To Stay Healthy and My Ivory Cellar: The Story Of Time Lapse Photography. The Cancer Control Society compiled an extensive collection of articles on John Ott's work in their special edition of the Cancer Control Journal titled Let There Be Light.