Blindness is No Barrier for This Photographer

Brenden Borrellini is one of those rare individuals whose lives only serve to inspire the rest of us. He was born completely deaf and with limited sight that soon became complete blindness. Even so, he became the first deaf and blind person in Brisbane to complete high school and go on to attend college. Next he went on to the arts, where he soon learned to operate a camera and, with the help of the folks at Crossroad Arts, became one of the world’s most unique photographers. Check out his story below:

How does a blind photographer “see” his photos?

Everyone needs feedback when learning a skill or art, and Borrellini is no exception. The challenge was, of course, that ‘normal’ modes of feedback weren’t originally available to Borrellini—he couldn’t see the results of his shots nor hear feedback from peoples’ reactions to them. The team working with him then designed a system (using a text-to-braille machine) so that Borrellini could hear objective feedback (explaining the photograph in detail), technical feedback on his photography ( i.e. composition, light, shutter effect, and depth), and subjective feedback (how each person felt as they looked at his photographs). This feedback, combined with a machine that converts two dimensional photographs into three dimensional photographs (so that he can interpret the textures in the photograph), allows Borrellini to receive the feedback those of us with sight take for granted. (Via PetaPixel)

blind artist

One of the things that makes Borrellini’s story so remarkable is that he experiences the world so differently than other people. Without sight or sound, his world is comprised of completely different senses, and that makes his art unique.

Brendan Borrellini

On top of that, taking up photography has helped Borrellini connect with his community and break through some of the feelings of isolation inevitably caused by his disability.

“I can explore the technical parts of the camera by moving my fingers over the different settings and feeling the lens adjusting when I press the shutter button… I can get a sense of my surroundings, but when I’m taking the photos, I need some help guiding the camera in the right direction.”

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