[Art_beyond_sight_educators] Blind Photographers Use Gadgets to Realize Artistic Vision

Lisa Yayla fnugg at online.no
Mon Dec 28 09:22:55 UTC 2009

Blind Photographers

Blind Photographers Use Gadgets to Realize Artistic Vision


When a brain tumor caused professional photographer Alex Dejong to lose 
his eyesight three years ago, he turned to gadgets to continue making 
his art.

Carrying around a Nokia N82 cellphone, Dejong used assistive software to 
translate sounds into visuals in his mind. After stitching together a 
mental image of his surroundings, he snapped photos with his Canon and 
Leica digital cameras.

But Dejong’s blindness is acute: He can only perceive light and dark. 
Because Dejong could not see his own photographs, he hired an assistant 
for editing. Until recently, editing was a part of the creative workflow 
that he thought he’d lost forever. And then to his surprise, Apple’s 
iPhone 3GS, which launched late June, gave him back the ability to edit 

The new iPhone has a feature called VoiceOver, which reads back anything 
a user places his finger over on the screen: e-mail, web pages, system 
preferences and so on. Beyond that, photo-editing applications such as 
CameraBag and Tilt-Shift perform automated editing tasks that blind 
users like Dejong could not otherwise do on their own.

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