Blind Photography Surprises

I love digital photography.  When I was first surfing the internet looking for information after being diagnosed with Myopic Macular Degeneration, I happened upon a site by “Blind Photographers.”   I learned that digital photography can be a powerful tool for people with low vision.  I can take a photo, upload it to my computer, view it in an enlarged format, and see details that I am unable to see with my eyes alone.  Blind Photography gave me a new way to see the world.

In addition, I discovered that I really enjoy the process of digital photography.  I sometimes get discouraged when I have to wade through photo after photo that is off-center or out of focus.  But sometimes I feel really amazed when a photo emerges that is surprisingly beautiful.

On Sunday, we went to the George Eastman House to see the display of spring flowers.  I took many, many, many photos.  When I got home and looked at them, I was disappointed at first.  So many of them were no good.  Actually, most were out of focus.  Most were unsalvageable.  There is no way I can crop them or edit them to make them look good.  But, a few of them were nice.  And I got a pleasant surprise.

While in hallway, I noticed some boxes up on a shelf.  I took a couple of pictures of them, even though I was at the House to see the flowers.  When I was looking through my shots, I found these:

I really like these photos of the old hatboxes.  They were such an unexpected treat while I was going through the flower photos.  I love reading the names of the stores where the hats were purchased.  I could not read them with my eyesight, but I can read them in the photos.

From the closet doorway, I could see the open medicine cabinet with bottles inside.  I snapped a shot of the inside and here it is.

I really like this photo.  It seems crisp and clean but still full of nostalgia.  I am so glad that I snapped some extra pictures while I was at the Eastman House to see the flowers.  Even though so many of my photos were unusable, I did end up with some nice shots of flowers along with the above photos of “antiques.”

I recently wrote a post about my attempts at photography, lamenting the number of shots that are not in sharp focus.  One of my blind photography friends suggested that I let go of my need for everything to be in perfect photographic focus and instead try to make beautiful artistic impressionist photos.  I thought of that when I saw this photo:

I really love this photo.  I love the shapes and the flow, the light and the dark.  If I judge it only by how sharply it is in focus, it is not a great photo.  But, if I judge it by how it makes me feel, by how it captures the essence of the flower for me, it is great.  It is beautiful.


7 thoughts on “Blind Photography Surprises

  1. Great post again! Taking a photo of some unlikely object, even if you’re not sure what it is, is worth the risk, definitely.

    There’s no law that says your photos have all got to be in sharp focus. Sometimes I think a bit of blurriness or soft focus adds to the sympathy I feel for someone’s face or something in the environment. It is the way you feel about the images, as you rightly say, tha’ts important.

    Some sighted photographers are using blurriness and making an art-form of it – look for bokeh on YouTube or Flickr and you’ll see what I mean.

    I have a modest example of my own made up of blurry images.

    To me, some of those images are quite beautiful and mysterious, though I’ll admit they don’t all work wonderfully well. Never mind, it was an experiment.

    Another visually impaired photographer who lives in my city had an exhibition recently, and I was lucky enough to catch it. Her name is Ellie Powell, and this is her Flickr photostream.

    She used some blur effects on some of her images, which I can attest were just gorgeous, and some of them featured flowers.

    So there it is – we seem to have a trend going!

    Hope you’re going to share many more of your images.


    • Thank you so much for sharing your images and for the link. I really appreciate your encouragement. I feel as if I am on the brink of taking my photography to a new level. I have to let go of my preconceived ideas of beauty. I really do find the blurry photo that I posted to be very beautiful. The shape of the flower feels like a dancer to me. Hopefully, I will continue to learn and grow. Thanks, again, for the support.

  2. I too struggle with blurry vision and extreme nearsightedness. Your courage to keep moving forward inspires me to do more! I take lots of bluury pgotos, too. I liked your medicine cabinet photo very much. I enjoy Victoriana and those bottles made me think of all the old-fashioned things that I am drawn too. Keep writing and keep posting your photos. You are making a diference in at least one person’s world!

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