A revelatory book of photographs taken by visually impaired people

The Blind Photographer is surprising and fascinating. These photos taken by visually impaired photographers, accompanied by a bit of text explaining the photographers' working processes and inspirations, forced me to rethink the nature of photography:

  • Is it a strictly visual medium, or should sound, feel, and taste also be represented somehow? (The book's images of fruit, musicians, and skin show how photography can be more multi-sensory.)
  • Why do photos conventionally have to be symmetrical and in focus? (Fuzzy and off-center photos can evoke a mood just as well as sharp ones.)
  • Are shadows just as interesting as objects? (Photographer Alberto Loranca writes, "I can distinguish light and shadow and I pay a great deal of attention to light in order to take pictures; I calculate the amount of light needed using trigonometry.")

These ideas might be obvious to art historians and photographers themselves, but to a lay person there's a lot to gain from The Blind Photographer's implication that everything is worthy of being photographed, no matter how mundane or odd. I may just be photographing a person's feet, rather than gravitating toward their face, in the future.

The Blind Photographer

by Julian Rothenstein (Editor), Candia McWilliam (Introduction)

Princeton Architectural Press

2016, 213 pages, 9.0 x 1.0 x 12.0 inches, Hardcover

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