Article taken from Photojojo.com
You’re ready to frame your shot. Lifting your camera to face, you see nothing. Blinded for just a moment, you’ve left your lens cap on (again!). What a relief it is to see that glorious image through your viewfinder. It makes you wonder what you would do if that moment of blindness lasted longer than a few seconds. Would you give up photography all together?
Pete Eckert is a blind photographer who didn’t.
Amazingly, he embraced the craft even more so after becoming blind, shooting ethereal double exposures and vivid light paintings with his Mamiyaflex TLR. He visualizes the image he wants to create in his mind and uses his senses of sound, touch, and memory to make a photograph.
He explains, “Sound gives an image just like light gives an image…My work is a byproduct of learning how to see again using sound.”
You can see a 4 minute documentary of how Pete frames his shots at http://vimeo.com
Here’s an excerpt from Pete’s blog:
“I didn’t take photography seriously until I went totally blind. I was trained in sculpture and industrial design. I have always been a visual person and planned to study architecture at Yale, but then I started to lose my sight. A doctor coolly told me I had Retinitis Pigmentosa and left the room without further comment. While listening to Dr. Dean Edell, on a San Francisco TV network, I learned I would go completely blind. A caller asked about RP. I remember the doctor’s words; they hit me like a hammer. ‘A person with RP gradually looses their sight until they go completely blind.’ There is currently no cure for RP.
It took me two years to recover and figure out what to do. I was a carpenter at the time. I did first-rate work. So, I never needed to hunt for a job. None-the-less I worked very little, just enough to pay the rent and for food. My girlfriend, Amy stood by me during this difficult time. Amy and I were engaged. I worried about the future. At one point, I laid out charts graphing the loss of vision over time for her. I told Amy if she left me after we married, I wouldn’t hold it against her. She stuck it out. In June we will be married twenty-four years. Thank you Amy.”