Let Them Photograph Your Soul
March 20, 2007 11:22 AM   Subscribe

Seeing Beyond Sight: Photographs by Blind Teenagers is the product of Sound Shadows, a literacy-through-photography class taught by Tony Deifell, Shirley Hand, Dan Partridge and Jessica Toal from 1992 to 1997 at the Governor Morehead School for the Blind.
posted by fandango_matt (12 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- frimble

Very interesting. On consecutive pages, there two stunning examples. The second, in particular, would be difficult for a sighted person to "see."
posted by jtajta at 11:46 AM on March 20, 2007

serious response: jtajta makes an interesting point about the second photograph.

not-serious response: daredevil would make a very good photographer.
posted by nathancaswell at 12:13 PM on March 20, 2007

I get the sense in the second photograph, the photographer was "seeing" the warmth on their face.

This does give me the idea to gesture randomly on videotape though, and see if I produce avant-garde poetry for the deaf.
posted by sourwookie at 12:16 PM on March 20, 2007

This reminds me of the blind photographer in Pecker. I laughed then for the obvious reasons, but now seeing this, I'd be curious to see a collection of works from a single blind photographer.
posted by BoatMeme at 12:47 PM on March 20, 2007

The premise of this project is so easy to react to as a novelty or a joke, but as with most jokes, it is worth taking a long enough look at let the incredulity subside so that one can see the actual humanity underneath. That's why the secret of comedy is timing.

I find these very moving because they are the product of someone straining vulnerably into territory they have only minimal understanding of, toward results that they are left out of sharing. There is a message-in-a-bottle quality to these that is mesmerizing.
posted by hermitosis at 1:14 PM on March 20, 2007

Also mentioned in this related thread.
posted by mediareport at 1:21 PM on March 20, 2007

A review copy of this was sent to my boss just yesterday. Interesting.
posted by joseph_elmhurst at 2:38 PM on March 20, 2007

See also: John Bramblitt, blind painter (gallery).

I own three of his paintings (Old Man , Male Torso, Focal Seisure) and I must say, his technique is incredible considering his lack of sight. And despite that, his paintings have a distinct style about them that I really like.

As far as I'm concerned, he's reclaimed sight through painting. He draws raised lines using paint, and then fills them in with color. He can feel the color by the texture of the paint. I still don't understand exactly how he does it, but he was born with sight, so having visual memories probably helps. Really, really amazing. (youtube video)
posted by bigtex at 3:34 PM on March 20, 2007

As a professional photographer and someone who, thanks to family history of macular degeneration is likely to lose her vision at some point, the idea of being a blind photographer has often crossed my mind.
I never really thought about just putting on a blindfold and seeing with all my other senses before like they suggest you do in the challenge on that page. I'm going to have to try it. Maybe it'll lead to some sort of zen enlightenment about the nature of vision and take me to another level.

It's worth a shot.
posted by TheGoldenOne at 4:05 PM on March 20, 2007

totally cool--we all place ourselves within our environments as we negotiate them--sighted or not, hearing or not, etc--so it makes a lot of sense. Some great shots there.
posted by amberglow at 5:38 PM on March 20, 2007

Looks like a bunch of events in San Francisco coming up.

Next Thursday SF Camerwork's having an exhibit opening & party.

I'm gonna go.
posted by akatimr at 11:50 PM on March 20, 2007

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