“The best thing to do with stereotypes and pre-conceptions is to challenge them, and this book The Blind Photographer does just that. It breaks down barriers from both sides, and shows what can be achieved if you turn your back on the doubters and just follow your dreams. Visions are not seen purely by the eyes but through the spirit.” -- Stevie Wonder
The new book shares images created by the blind and partially-sighted from around the world. It doesn’t take sight to create photos, but it does take ‘vision.’
Untitled, India, 2011 by Satvir Jogi
Palmira Martínez, Untitled, Mexico, 2012
Though it may seem an impossibility to be both a photographer and blind, the images in the book show how photography is about a connection and view of the world. There’s a certain poignancy to many of the images and the sense of discovery that is what makes photography special. Whether sighted or not, the photographer can convey their perspective.
From the series An Event on the Stairs, Mexico, 1999-2013
Pedro Miranda is a photographer, sculptor and video artist. He says, “There’s nothing extraordinary about being a blind photographer! Those who think that way should think again as this job is carried out in the dark so, I can’t see how it is supposed to be extraordinary.”
Mickel Smithen - Untitled, UK, 2009
Mickel Smithen’s photography is an extension of his dancing. He senses space as a dancer, capturing movement and sensation.
José Sebastián Muñoz
José Sebastián Muñoz - Untitled, Mexico, 2010
Many of the photographers are partially blind. Others have the help of assistants or technology. The technology was perhaps not designed with the visually impaired in mind, but is well-suited to their needs--think facial recognition and voice recognition.
Part of the broken plate series, “The Beauty Of Life in the Appearance of Dying”
Mexican photographer Aarón Ramos’ work is allegorical.
“I use my senses−hearing, touch, taste and smell − when taking pictures. When I touch the camera lens I create an imaginary line from the lens to the object I am taking a picture of; I create the picture in my mind, I feel it and construct it to communicate feelings to the normal-visual world.”
Maria Eugenia Cori
Maria Eugenia Cori - Untitled, Bolivia, 2008
Aaron Ramos - Untitled, Mexico, 2010-15
Ramos thinks of insects as suffering from sensory deprivation much like the blind. In his project “Unknown Environment,” he put insects in complete darkness to simulate sensory experiences similar to his own.
Marco Antonio Martinez - Empatia
Marco Antonio Martínez - Empathy, Mexico, c.2005
“This picture represents the meaning of empathy, putting yourself in other people’s shoes.”
Alberto Loranca - Untitled, Mexico, 2011-12
Loranca can distinguish light and dark which helps him take photos.
“The Fighter is always with me, sharing my experiences and moments of happiness. The fighter is me, and anyone wishing and making up their minds to start to be different, to raise their awareness and to question their own paradigms, to break down their personal barriers and to achieve change in spite of momentary suffering.”
Pedro Miranda - Him and Me, Mexico, 2009 (phototextile)
Ruben Ortiz Morales
Rubén Ortiz Morales - Life After Life, Mexico, 2007