Reader question: How do you do it?

First, let me say thanks again for all the great feedback on the blog. I’m enjoying doing this and I’m glad your enjoying the images. I was going through some of the messages yesterday and the most common question or comment I get is, How can you take pictures if your blind? Well, first I’m not totally blind, I have 25% vision remaining in my left eye and no light perception in my right (the vision in the left is measured at 20/400, so almost no distance vision, or peripheral vision ). I think the best way to illustrate how I do the pictures is to show you a couple of  images I have prepared which closely represent what vision I have. To best show this I used a picture I took a couple of evenings ago.

_MG_4735-Editvision When I composed the shot, this is very close to what I saw in the viewfinder. Generally I have to scan the viewfinder over and over to get the framing right and remember and imagine what it will look like when I take the picturte. Its not until I get to see the image on the back of the camera that I can (kind of) see if I got the composition the way I wanted. This is the reason you don’t see a lot of people in my images. Its not only tough for me to see faces and check for blinks and frowns, but people (unlike landscapes) tend to move around 8).

Once I have the shot done then I take it into photoshop and do a lot of zooming and working at 100% to fix any problems with the image (or remove things in the picture that I didn’t see when I was composing the original image in the field.).

You might be asking yourself how I get around without a guide dog or cane with such limited vision.  When I am walking around I use the same scanning method I use when composing  pictures. I also make it a habit not to go out in the evening or dark since I have almost no night vision. I have never been one to listen to people who want to put limitations on me, I think that if you want to do something that you can find a way to do it.

Heres the final image from the other night. Thank you all again who have sent me the great feedback and please make sure to check out my Then and Now section of the website. I just put the second page up. Its a bit of fun history on the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf mixed with an original picture taken by my grandfather (who was also legally blind and had the same degenerative eye disease I have.). Get out there and get shooting!

_MG_4735-EditThis image is of the San Lorenzo river in Santa Cruz near the Boardwalk. I shot this at ISO 100, f8.0, 34mm at 1 /100 second shutter speed. Shot at sunset as the fog was rolling in.