I have been legally blind in both eyes since birth. Over the years, I developed many other eye conditions, and have had multiple surgeries to preserve as much sight as possible. Recently, I lost all vision in my right eye, and only have limited vision remaining in my left.
I first got interested in photography at college while pursuing my degree in psychology, looking at the effects of visual impairment on artistic style. For me, photography became a way to extend my vision beyond my impairment. I’m able to compose a picture, set the exposure, and let the camera’s auto-focus capture details that I can’t see. Only when I get the photos processed and enlarged on my computer screen do I get to see the world that’s normally blurred.
Having limited vision, black and white photography is a great fit for me. My vision can vary from day to day, and even hour to hour. When my vision is cloudy, all I see is shadows amongst light which makes it much easier to see things with high contrast. Black and white photography matches with my vision in a very real way.
Also, as an artist, I feel that black-and-white photography has more depth, history and emotion. I prefer to use very little digital editing in my photography. To me, photography is about capturing the world as it is, and I feel that digitally changing things to create an artificial image lessens the impact.