[Art_beyond_sight_educators] Photography Course Imparted to the Visually Challenged

Lisa Yayla fnugg at online.no
Sun Apr 11 18:31:46 UTC 2010

Photography Course Imparted to the Visually Challenged

Eight visually challenged persons have achieved to convert their ideas 
of historical monuments into photographs, using the rest of their 
senses. The exercise is part of awareness workshops imparted by Gabriela 
Patterson and organized by the National Institute of Anthropology and 
History (INAH) to involve different publics in cultural heritage 
enjoyment and care.

Julio Cesar Martinez Bronimann, photographer at the National 
Coordination of Cultural Heritage Conservation (CNCPC) has conducted 
research regarding teaching photography to visually impaired people.

He has adapted his own teaching method towards expression of 
participants by knowledge of historical objects or spaces through touch, 
hearing and occasionally, taste. Then they capture their impressions in 

The fact of these persons not seeing does not mean they cannot take 
photographs, declared Martinez; “meaning of the word photography is 
“writing with light”, and people impaired to see can perceive it through 
the heat it produces, being able to locate places in light and shadow.

“In enclosed spaces they feel the absence of light by the change of 
temperature, deducing they need extra light, and then they use the 
flash”. The INAH photographer explains that his students also know how 
to handle backlight.

Hearing and touch are used to choose the framing. If it is a portrait, 
the voice helps them to determine direction and distance from the 
subject. Sometimes a companion can describe the space or figure to help 
them imagine it.


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