I have been having a lot of fun taking pictures of the beautiful flowers in our yard. Everything is blooming earlier than usual because it has been so warm. When I look at a garden, I see blotches of color instead of individual flowers. Up until now this has seemed like a tremendous handicap. Lately, though, I have been noticing that my visual world is like an impressionist painting. There is beauty in the way I see. I thought I would try to show how I see by manipulating one of my photos. I took this photo of a patch of tulips:
It’s a lovely photo and I can see way down into the throats of the flowers. I can even see a couple of tiny periwinkle flowers that I didn’t know were there. Here is my approximation of what I was actually seeing when I took the picture:
My actual vision doesn’t show the details, but it shows the colors and approximate shapes of the flowers. I can choose to notice that the distortions in my vision make my world very beautiful, even if very blurry. I love that I can take an image that I see as blurry and unclear and turn it into a photo in which I can see distinct flowers. The people at Blind Photographers have opened up this new world to me and I am very grateful. But I have also begun to find the beauty in my own reality, my way of seeing the world.
I have also been working on trying to find the light when I am getting ready to take a picture. I could sense that light and shadows were interacting on a hyacinth and found this to be true when I enlarged the image in a photo:
I am happy that “blind” photography is teaching me to look for the light and to take the time to try to focus on what is in front of me. Since everything has become so blurry, I had given up on even trying to look for details and light in my surroundings. I was becoming oblivious to the world around me. Now, whether I have a camera in my hand or not, I find myself paying more attention to the sights around me. Instead of closing off and withdrawing, I am interacting more with the world. This is a great gift to me as I learn to navigate with low vision. It pushes me to get out in the world and find beauty, when my inclination would be to not even bother. I have learned that just because I can’t see clearly doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t look to see what nature has to offer me. The world I see in “real” life and the world I see in photos are both glorious. I am grateful that I have learned to appreciate that I have two ways of seeing beauty instead of falsely believing that I no longer even have one.