Friday, May 29, 2009

Photography by the blind

The three images at the top were taken by blind photographers and are included in an exhibit called "Sight Unseen" at the University of California, Riverside. The photo at the bottom is a new camera developed for the blind called "Touch Sight" - it records a bit of sound to reference the images and has a Braille display. I sent these two links to photographer Jim Schaefer on separate occasions. Of "Sight Unseen," he said, "This is good, and a different take on the 'unseen' in photography." When I sent him the information on the Touch Sight, he replied, "WOW! This is wonderful. I can see this device leading to all manner of new kinds of 'photographic' artwork, eg., using the Braille output as a 'digital printer'!" The camera has received a positive review from a visually-impaired man, who writes, "...this is a big leap in a direction that might seem contrary to most folks. Then again, most folks haven’t been around gatherings of blind people such as annual conventions of the national blindness advocacy groups or at classes at the various guide dog schools. If so, they would know that blind people often have and use cameras, even if they can’t see the pictures they take. That might be history as this product evolves." The Touch Sight will no doubt be used for snapshots and art photography.

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