Updated: Oct 7, 2019
"You cant be blind if you can take photos" I have had this said to me many times and I know some of my friends have as well. Why do people think because you are blind you cant do any thing more than sit around, I spent many years doing just that and to be honest that nearly took me from this world and it wasn't until I joined Blind Veterans UK that my life changed.
Firstly blind does not mean black blind as a matter of fact there is only a very small percentage of blind people that are black blind this is why the registration title has changed from Blind to Severely Sight impaired.
Blind Veterans UK say we should make use of any vision that we have and will help us find a solution to carry on as best as we can. I use the little amount I have in my left eye to the max I can, yes there is many things I cant do but you learn to cope or find another way to do something as the saying goes don't say never!
So how can you use a camera if you are visually impaired? Well it is different for everyone some use the screen, some use the view finder and some even place the camera on their forehead. In my case I use the view finder as the tiny bit of vision I have in my left eye is like looking trough a monocular backwards (sort of tunnel vision but very blurred) hence why I find it very difficult to view the images on the screen, I have to use Hyper-ocular glasses to view settings on the screen but they are no good for actually taking the photo.
I like to shoot subjects that are quite close to me like people, still life etc, however I do challenge myself as I love to do sports photography especially football which is
quite difficult in itself let alone if you have a visual impairment, but with practice you can do it. The only genre that I don't do that often are landscapes (not because I can't) but because I find them to be a bit hit and miss as I cant see too far into the distance. However when I do them I often get a pleasant surprise as when I view the image on a computer I then appreciate the scene, as I can then see things that I didn't realise were there when I shot the image. An example of this is I once shot a poppy field and when I got home I found out that there was a church on the hill in the distance which actually enhanced the picture.(of course I told everyone I knew it was there).
With the support of family and friends many visual impaired people learn to adapt and live a relative normal life, so please don't make comments that could offend them instead why don't you approach them and ask how they can do it as most of the time they will be more than happy to explain it to you.
Personally I am luckily enough to have support from my family, Blind Veterans UK and Guide Dogs and over the last few years I have learnt a lot, I can now mount and frame my own pictures which is a great skill to have (being honest I couldn't cut a 45 degree angle when I could see). Since getting my Guide Dog Echo I have been more independent and am able to get out and about more. We have even travelled on the London underground which was really good for my confidence.
I now photograph events for both Blind Veterans UK and Guide Dogs as a volunteer. If you think you may have a bit of time to help either of these charity as a volunteer they both would be very grateful more information can found here https://www.blindveterans.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering/ or
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog