The OM System (aka Olympus cameras) just released the flagship OM-1 camera, a major upgrade from the beloved Olympus E-M1 series.
The OM-1 has a similar layout to the E-M1 series but it packs a super fast stacked sensor for high-speed stills shooting at up to 10 FPS mechanical and a blazing 120 FPS electronic. An updated sensor brings better low light performance and subject detection autofocus algorithms that can detect cars, planes, animals, and humans.
This model also has hand-held high-res shooting (you can take 50 MP images out of a burst of 16 frames) and the Live-ND filter, which simulates a neutral-density filter. In addition, computational photography for handheld shooting emulates some tripod-based long exposure shooting (for example, a blurred waterfall). The pro line lenses have a high-quality build, integrated lens hoods, smooth zoom and focus rings, and round bokeh visualization (background blur).
The OM-1’s lens options make it ideal for birders and wildlife watchers. The new 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO gives you a lightweight 300-800mm range and an integrated teleconverter up to 1000mm handheld. Tom tested this lens/camera combo and had a blast photographing birds in his neighbourhood without his arms getting too tired. For more: OM Systems
Tip: The best lenses include the Olympus 12-100mm F/4 IS PRO (24-200mm), 12-24mm f/2.8 II PRO (24-80mm f/2.8 equivalent), 40-150mm F/2.8 PRO (80-300mm pro zoom), 7-14mm PRO (wide-angle zoom), 300mm F/4 IS PRO (600mm F4 equivalent), 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO (300-800mm f/4.5).
It is no secret that I’m addicted to nature photography, which I practice on an almost daily basis regardless of weather conditions. In fact bad conditions sometime produce some neat images. I love “shooting” sunrises; they usually are the thing that gets me going in the morning. With sunrises, or sunsets, the secret to getting good ones is to be out there before they occur. Sometimes the best sky color is before the sun rises or after it sets, and you need to be in a good position before that happens. After sunrise, I head to a likely wildlife scene.
Lately I have been sitting along the Feeder Road off Route 77 near a marsh where geese and ducks come to rest in the morning. No hunting is allowed on this marsh, so many of the waterfowl naturally pick it for a safe haven. This was my favorite spot last week as I aimed to get good flight shots of geese coming in. Lighting and wind need to be from the right angle, and the birds are fast, so you have to be on the ball. It is very satisfying to catch that goose image, tack sharp, as he cups and drops into the marsh.
I used to do a lot of waterfowl hunting and the incoming geese always seemed to be the most exciting to watch. That’s still true today as I hunt them with my camera. Their distance calling tunes me in to their arrival and even when they are about to take off. I take way too many pictures of them in flight, but that’s necessary to catch the birds’ most flattering positions, which involves how the light is hitting them, their wing positions and their angle to the camera.
One shot I’m always trying to capture is their flying upside-down (yes, you read that right!). Sometimes when a flock is coming in to land they come in from a high altitude and are in a hurry to get to their chosen landing spot. To do this they “slip” sideways as they drop from the sky, and even flip over on their backs, which cuts wind resistance and helps them drop more quickly. Now, this maneuver takes only a split second, and they do it individually, not as a group. Thus it can be very difficult to catch this move. The best way is to just click away as you see birds in the flock doing this and hope you catch one upside-down.
When the birds are ready to leave the marsh, their body positioning and type of call usually prompt me to get ready. I try to catch them both flying and running on the water as they get airborne. Again, it is a matter of taking a lot of shots to catch it just right.
A lot of other things went on as I waited for various groups of geese to arrive. One morning a pair of trumpeter swans flew over me from a side that I don’t eyeball that much, and by the time I saw them I could only get angling-away images, not very flattering to the swans. A few mornings later, now peeking at the southeast side of my position more often, I caught the pair coming towards me. Getting ready, I kept focusing on them as they approached, and hit the “trigger” a number of times as they passed low and right in front of me. Each time I did, the thought “got it” clicked in my mind, and the end result was about six great, tack-sharp, well-exposed and flattering shots. As they continued on their way I took a deep breath — I often hold my breath as I shoot, probably a habit from my long range woodchuck hunting days that gave me a more accurate shot. A quick review of the shots proved I hit the nail right on the head, and my day was made even if the geese and ducks didn’t cooperate.
Other creatures often show themselves while I’m waiting out a particular set up like this. A mink will scramble in front of me, never giving a good shot because it is so quick in its sudden appearance and disappearance. Then there’s the great blue heron that has not flown south yet, offering some close “fishing” poses to me. Although not as plentiful as the incoming geese in this marsh, some mallards, pintails, teal and an occasional wood duck come in, elevating the excitement for me.
When the geese do start arriving there seems to be numerous groups coming in, one after another, which keeps me on the ball and breathless as I concentrate on various groups, trying to pick ones with good background, or doing quick maneuvers and coming in at the right angles.
Nature’s creatures are not the only things that keep me entertained while I’m in this area. The seasonal road is traveled by both vehicles and hikers looking to see nature or photograph it, and sometimes it’s pretty funny watching the wildlife outmaneuver these people. I can often predict what’s going to happen. Someone stops quickly and jumps out of their vehicle, camera in hand for a picture, only to find the creature has disappeared. Or, they walk or drive by never seeing the wildlife right off the road, because they don’t know how to look for it.
Nature photography can be addictive but that is OK because it makes you more appreciative of what’s out there.
I have a list of folks to whom I send my nature images. If you’re interested in seeing what I see, send me your email address and a request and I’ll add you to the list.
Doug Domedion, outdoorsman and nature photographer, resides in Medina. Contact him at 585-798-4022 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The French artist Noémie Goudal is an illusionist. But unlike a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat, Goudal provides the viewer with enough clues to understand her creative process. Her photographs and videos of palm trees and burning vegetation derive from the creation of printed décor, like stage sets, which clearly differentiates her art from the work of a documentary photographer.
Several images on the stand of Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire at Paris Photo in the Grand Palais Éphémère this past weekend, conveyed Goudal’s preoccupations with nature and her working method.
For Mountain III (2021), Goudal erected jagged pieces of cardboard in front of a partially snow-capped landscape. In order not to deceive the viewer about her intervention, she left the edges of the cardboard visible in the ensuing work.
For Phoenix V (2021), she sliced her own photographs of a palm tree into vertical and horizontal strips, which she installed in the same landscape in order to make another picture. The overlapping layers of strips conjure a deconstructed image. Black spaces in between the branches and the artificial light illuminating some of the leaves denote how the original conditions were nocturnal. Meanwhile, the visibility of the clips and cables communicates the work’s artifice.
Noémie Goudal, Mountain III (2021). Courtesy Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire.
“What I try to instill in the image is all the artisanal side, so you can find the gesture of fabricating the image within the image itself,” Goudal told Artnet News. “For me, it’s very important to involve the viewer so that they can live a bit of the [image-making] experience.”
To capture the palm trees, Goudal and her team of assistants drove to southern Spain, taking along equipment like cameras, computers, a printer and lighting. “We made a kind of deconstruction of the landscape and the result of this performance is represented in the photos,” she said.
Born in Paris, Goudal, 38, studied graphic design at Central Saint Martins in London before attaining a MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art. “There’s better and more varied teaching in England; the schools have a good reputation and the students are very free,” Goudal said about her decision to study abroad.
From the beginning of her practice, Goudal has been interested in the hovering interface between fictional images and reality. To make her early works, she would install a photograph of a landscape somewhere very different—such as capturing a print of a misty, tropical road inside a dusty barn.
In the last few years, Goudal’s work has become increasingly ambitious in scale and media. She has had exhibitions at the Photographer’s Gallery in London, the Finnish Museum of Photography, and Foam Photography Museum in Amsterdam, among other venues. Notably, her works have entered the collections of the Centre Pompidou, the CNAP – France’s visual arts collection, and Germany’s Fotomuseum Winterthur.
Noémie Goudal, Phoenix V (2021). Courtesy Galerie Les Filles Filles du Calvaire.
As part of this summer’s Rencontres d’Arles photography festival in the south of France, Goudal had an exhibition, “Phoenix,” in a deconsecrated gothic church called Église des Trinitaires. On view in the chapel’s nave were two captivating videos evincing her fascination with representation, installation, and performance.
Inhale Exhale (2021) opens with a verdant, tropical landscape, like a postcard cliché. But the palm trees are soon revealed to be printed on placards, which begin to emerge and move, eventually collapsing in the rain. Then an identically constructed jungle appears, only to meet the same drowned fate. The piece was filmed in the wood of Vincennes, near Paris, wherein the décor was placed.
The second video, Below the Deep South, (2021), is more terrifying, showing lush vegetation being set ablaze. The edges of the sheets of images lick with flames, burn and vanish. Then another, and yet another, layer of images catches fire in a perpetual cycle of repetition and destruction. Eventually, the ravaging flames stop flickering and embers amass on the floor of an industrial site. This ‘making of’ ending indicates that this is where the sheets of images were installed. Clarity is given to the mastered fakery, the poetic illusion is rendered comprehensible.
One immediately wonders if the dystopian vision is a reflection on the fires in the Amazon rainforest during Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency of Brazil. But Goudal replied that this was not the starting point. Rather, it was researching deep time and paleoclimatology, the study of the climate history of the earth and how a better understanding of the earth’s climate in the past relates to its present and future climate.
Noémie Goudal. Film still from Below the Deep South (2021). Courtesy of Les Filles du Calvaire gallery and the artist.
“What interests me through these videos is trying to see the metamorphoses of the earth in a much broader sense than during man’s era, and looking at the destruction of fire but also at how it is a very important force of energy,” Goudal said. “When we speak to paleoclimatologists, we realize to what extent the earth was subjected to metamorphoses, like blasts and volcanoes, which allowed man to exist, and it’s this balance that we’re trying to save now.”
It is this transversal quality of Goudal’s practice—working across techniques and media, and exploring the earth’s different geological epochs—that makes it distinguishing, according to Stéphane Magnan, co-founder of Galeries Les Filles du Calvaire. The gallery sells her photographs, in an edition of five, priced between €18,500 and €28,000 ($18,330-$27,740), depending on the format. Videos, also in an edition of five, are priced at €20,000 ($19,810).
“This artist proposes a very subtle work that destabilizes the viewer by deconstructing the landscape,” Magnan said. “This very particular, offbeat vision triggers fundamental issues about the earth’s transformation and proposes an aesthetic recomposition of our world.”
The theme of destruction is treated slightly differently in the black-and-white video, Untitled (Study on Matters and Fire), 2022. Commissioned for the group exhibition, “L’horizon des événements,” at Château d’Oiron in western France this summer, it shows a bleak, actual wasteland located beyond the periphery of Paris.
One quickly perceives that the austere image is a composition of different elements, centered by a large circle whose edges become aflame. As the billowing, blackened paper tumbles, the fire devours the landscape. Through a system of photographic anamorphosis, the destruction gives way to the real, unravaged landscape behind.
Noémie Goudal, Untitled (Study on Matters and Fire) (2022). Exhibition view Château d’Oiron. Photo: Anna Sansom.
“The contract with Jean-Luc Meslet, director of the Château d’Oiron, was to produce works in situ, in or near the château, and we looked with Noémie for a forest that could be filmed in May but this turned out to be impossible so we couldn’t respect this contractual clause,” the exhibition’s curator Patrice Joly explained. “I find this new film even more powerful – it totally finds its place in the château’s grandiose setting, the sound fills the large room under the eaves […] and makes us feel the power and magnetism of fire – it’s a magnificent piece.”
Goudal, who cites Christopher Williams, Wolfgang Tillmans, Andreas Gursky and Zoe Leonard as references, has also ventured into interdisciplinary projects. At the Festival d’Avignon, south of France, this summer, she collaborated with stage director Maëlle Poésy on a performance piece, Anima. Next to a landscape-metamorphosis video, a dancer performed on a metallic, gridded structure of the same dimensions as the video screen.
Goudal has also made a foray into sculpture. At her exhibition, “Post Atlantica,” at Edel Assanti in London earlier this year, several spherical, kinetic sculptures were on display alongside photographs and videos.
Indeed, Goudal aspires for her conceptual work to defy classification and be appreciated beyond the confines of photography. “It’s still complicated to show photographic work in a contemporary art context,” Goudal lamented. “As there are fairs dedicated to photography, a gallery will think of showing their trending photographer at Paris Photo rather than at Paris+ [par Art Basel]. I understand but it’s just classifying [artists who work with photography] even more. I suffer a lot from this.”
Besides, Goudal is hardly a photographer in the traditional sense. “Photographers who make documentary and more classical work don’t see mine as classical photography,” Goudal added.
Certainly, what drives Goudal is developing a multifarious practice, rich in intellectual exploration. “It’s very natural for me to use all these different media,” she said. “What interests me is studying the image from lots of different viewpoints and, above all, the experience of creating the image.”
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HOLLY LAKE RANCH, Texas (KLTV) – An East Texas man remembers his time over a 50 year career as a photoghrapher, taking some of the most iconic images in sports.
Retired and living in Holly Lake Ranch now, 82-year-old Gary Edwards is not a household name. But, it’s a sure bet that sometime in your life you’ve seen one of his iconic sports pictures.
He worked for United Press International for decades, taking photographs of sports and politics, and his images have graced the covers of numerous newspapers and magazines such as LIFE and Sports Illustrated.
He’s covered 14 super bowls, 8 Masters golf tournaments and countless other events from baseball to the Olympics, with many of his photos held as a standard of excellence in photography.
It was a bizarre picture from a 1955 college football game between Princeton and Cornell that Edwards said propelled him to a career.
Omaha doesn’t give photographer Isaiah “Frosty” Niemann access to the oceans where he captures dramatic images of huge waves and the surfers who ride them. So when he’s here, he takes wedding photos or family portraits.
But when clients hire him to photograph and film them surfing on big waves, he travels to popular surfing sites around the world.
Niemann, 27, was born in Seward and grew up in South Carolina — away from the coast.
“I didn’t really grow up in the ocean environment,” he said.
Photography came first.
Niemann bought a digital camera at a Best Buy to document his time in the Marines.
Then came surfing. He was stationed at Camp Pendleton in California for five years.
“The thing that got me with surfing is the peacefulness of being disconnected from society,” he said. “When you’re out surfing, you’re by yourself. It’s all about you and the ocean. You’re not competing with anything else. You’re just enjoying the ride.”
In his free time, Niemann started working as an intern at a surf shop, learning how to make boards.
His hobbies crossed paths when a friend asked Niemann to take photos of him surfing.
It snowballed from there, with more friends asking for photo shoots. It morphed into a side business.
He was later stationed in Hawaii. By then, he was an avid surfer, going out almost daily. He bought waterproof housings for his camera and took it out swimming to take photos on the water.
In many places, Niemann had to swim to take photos because watercraft aren’t allowed. When he can use watercraft, he goes with a Jet Ski.
Niemann got serious about big surf photography about a year ago in Hawaii after he started swimming a stretch of coast known for big waves called the Pipeline on the north shore of Oahu.
On a whim, he decided to visit a big wave surf break known as Jaws off Maui’s north shore. It’s known for producing some of the biggest waves in the world.
Big wave surfing is done on waves that range from 20 to 80 feet high. Typical surfing is done on waves that range between 2 and 6 feet, Niemann said.
“It’s kind of like grabbing an electric fence,” he said. “You’re holding on for dear life, but trying to enjoy the excitement of it.”
Niemann surfs big waves, too. Because it can be dangerous, he has undergone lifeguard training and big wave rescue certification.
Being on the water is a major adrenaline rush, he said.
“You get to see the power of the ocean firsthand and see that you’re just a small piece. It can be very dangerous and beautiful at the same time,” Niemann said.
Niemann traveled back to Omaha from Hawaii with his then-fiancée, Dana, for their spring wedding. He ended his military service earlier this year, and the couple moved back to Omaha, where Dana’s family lives.
Frosty Photo has become Niemann’s full-time job. Dana Niemann works for the business, too, taking care of all of the logistics and travel arrangements.
The “Frosty” moniker is a childhood nickname. As a kid, he would stockpile Wendy’s Frosty coupon books so he could eat as many of the frozen treats for free as he could.
In January, he’s heading to Ireland for three months to film a 12-part series for a surfer from the United Kingdom.
“I would say the best thing about photography is being able to share my experiences and these magical moments with the ocean with other people,” Niemann said.
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Brodie Ledford says it was a Christmas gift he’d bought for his wife that led to his career in photography.
The 41-year-old Frederick native always loved video cameras and taking photos, but it wasn’t until he purchased a camera for his wife, Dara, a fine arts major in college with a focus on photography, that he became enamored with the art form.
For their Christmas together after she graduated college, Ledford “went out and bought her a brand new DSLR [digital] camera,” he said.
“The funny thing is, the second she opened it, I started playing with it,” he said during a phone interview. “And that camera then became mine. The rest, as they say, is history. That was nearly 17 years ago.”
Today, Ledford owns Brodie Ledford Studios in Frederick and was recently featured in a photography competition called Creator Series. Ledford was one of 10 photographers selected to be part of the 11-episode series, available to stream online.
In each episode, the photographers were challenged in various aspects of photography, from lighting to composition to posing — and they were given only 10 minutes to get the shot.
The web series, which can be viewed on YouTube, was judged by Canon Explorers of Light photographers: Sal Cincotta, an award-winning wedding and portrait photographer; Laretta Houston, who is known for shooting the Tyra Banks Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition; and Vanessa Joy, a renowned wedding photographer. The series was based in St. Louis, where Cincotta, the show’s producer and host, owns his studio.
Ledford entered the contest after seeing a promo for Creator Series at ShutterFest, a large photography conference. He admits he had reservations about entering a competition that would be broadcast worldwide. He considers himself a private person. But he decided to apply anyway.
After applying, Ledford was then interviewed. His portfolio and online presence also were reviewed before he got to the next round. Then he had a submit a 90-second video that explained “why us.” But after sending in the video, several weeks went by, and Ledford assumed he hadn’t been chosen.
“Then when I finally had lost all hope, I got an email saying ‘congratulations, you’re in,’” he recalled. “I was completely shocked, and I was excited and terrified all at the same time.”
He spent July shooting the series in St. Louis. It premiered online in August.
His biggest adjustment was learning how to use the Canon gear that was required for the series because, of course, it was sponsored by Canon.
Cincotta was each photographer’s assistant throughout the series.
“It’s a little bit intimidating because he’s absolutely fantastic,” Ledford said. “He’s one of those guys who expects the best because he is there as the best, and he’s known to be amazing.”
The photographers being allowed only 10 minutes to shoot their assignments for the day made it all the more challenging. Normally, setting up a studio shot can take up to an hour, Ledford said. “We basically had 10 minutes to pick the gear we wanted, set the shot up, talk to the model about what we were looking for, coach the model and then shoot it.”
Then, the photographers were asked to immediately hand over their memory cards.
It wasn’t until every photographer finished their shoot that the contestants could see the photos they’d shot and work on them further. They got 30 minutes to select and edit the images. But, Ledford said, realistically, by the time he would select his images, he would only have 15 minutes, on average, to edit.
“The images that were created are mind-blowing to me — that it was done in such a short period of time,” Ledford said. “That’s where the challenge was.”
The cards were given to the judges who then selected the best and the worst. Every week someone was sent home.
“My favorite competition was probably the reflections competition,” where a model was reflected in a mirror or window, for example, he said. “Because it was something that was outside of what I would normally do.”
The entire competition, he said, was challenging because it forced the photographers to try a type of photography they normally don’t do every day.
He said the series really showed that there’s more to photography than people realize.
“I think the biggest thing that is difficult for photographers is that people think that the cameras have a magic button because they don’t see the behind-the-scenes stuff,” he said. “People don’t see the editing process. They don’t see all the lighting. They don’t understand setting [the camera] on manual mode, not on auto mode.”
Ledford credits his wife for getting him into photography as a profession, and he dabbled in it while he held a full-time job as a store manager for Best Buy.
“My wife would take my photos, and she would make photo books for me and just keep, you know, pushing me and say, ‘Hey, look, it’s great stuff,’” he said.
He and his wife, who is also a photographer, cofounded Brodie Ledford Studios, and when someone asked if he did weddings, it became his first professional gig. After a while, his wife again encouraged him to take the leap full-time into his new passion.
“I walked away from that life, and I was able to do what I want to do now,” he said. “And it’s unbelievable.”
Ledford’s business is considered a luxury, service-based company, where he focuses on client relationships.
“There are a lot of people out there that take pictures, and there’s a huge difference between a picture taker and a professional photographer,” he said. “I really pride myself on the fact that we focus on the experience for the client, and our clients truly do become like friends and family.”
Photofairs, Asia’s largest photography fair, will make its debut in New York next year.
Event organizer Creo has announced the first Photofairs New York will take place from September 8–10, 2023 at the Javits Center, just next door to the Armory Show. Held in partnership with Angus Montgomery Arts, the fair will showcase photography, film, and virtual reality works, spotlighting about 100 international galleries. Exhibitor applications are now open.
“We have great admiration for the Armory Show and its long-standing track record,” Creo CEO Scott Gray told Artnet News. “Bringing the unique offerings of the two fairs together under one roof will be mutually beneficial.” The Javits Center, he said, is “a purpose-built exhibition center well suited to the requirements of galleries and visitors alike.”
According to Jeff Rosenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s photography curator, the city itself is likely to be receptive. “New York’s enthusiasm for photography is almost unbounded,” he noted in Creo’s press release. “This will bring new energy to the fall season in New York.”
The 2017 edition of Photofairs Shanghai at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre. Photo by Simon Song/South China Morning Post via Getty Images
Gray founded Creo in 2007 as the World Photography Organization, a company whose roster now encompasses the Sony World Photography Awards, Sony Future Filmmaker Awards, and Photo London. He currently also serves as CEO of Angus Montgomery Arts, which oversees India Art Fair, Taipei Dangdai, and Art Düsseldorf, among other fairs.
“Creo has since grown in scope, furthering its mission of developing meaningful opportunities for creatives and expanding the reach of its cultural activities to film and contemporary art,” Gray explained.
In 2014, Creo launched the now-signature Photofairs Shanghai. Between 2017 and 2019, the group tried hosting two rounds of a San Francisco edition, but gave up after learning it cost more than $1 million to produce.
Photofairs New York will organize exhibitors into four sections. “Galleries” will encompass all exhibitors chosen by Creo’s Selection Committee, comprising of international galleries, and the fair’s Advisory Group of international collectors—who will also cultivate an audience of buyers for the event. International fair partner Meta Media Group will expand the fair’s global footprint.
Photo courtesy of Photofairs New York.
Meanwhile, the “Platform” section will hold space for booths by galleries that have logged less than eight years in the business and artists aged under 35. “Screen” will showcase galleries working in new technologies such as VR and NFTs. “Film” will focus on moving image as a medium.
Since photography has gone from a technically specialized skill to a widely embraced medium, Gray reflected, “I believe there is demand for a new fair in photo-based works and new technologies, which really reflects current market trends and explores how we interact with digital culture.” Creo is looking to further embrace experimental practices and seminal photographers alike—and catch both seasoned and emerging collectors.
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GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Tens of thousands of people drive or walk by a large rick building on West Gate City Boulevard in Greensboro every day. Many, with no knowledge of what goes on inside. But under that roof, hundreds of people with a similar impairment found a new way of navigating the workforce.
“Some people have gone through some things, some people have experienced some great lifestyle changes,” said Sherrie Thompson, a receptionist at the operation.
The business is Industries Of The Blind, a non-profit that’s secured several large contracts since its first one-million-dollar contract in 1962. Presently, workers construct anything from pens to items for the U.S. Army. Its mission statement is “To provide opportunities for employment and personal development for people who are blind or visually impaired to achieve greater independence.
“I still have a very good memory of how things used to be,” Thompson said.
When she was 19, Thompson said she was a freshman in college, engaged, with a baby on the way. In a matter of three weeks, an overabundance of fluid on her brain and spine stole her sight.
“I’ve had to experience not-so-good things, but to be where I am now, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, honestly,” she said.
While Thompson and colleague Michelle Torain both lost their vision after being able to see for much of their lives, their stories are dramatically different.
“I woke up on February the 14, 2013, I woke up blind,” Torain said. “I cried for three days. I shut my door and I cried for three days. Just cried, cried, cried.”
Torain said she lost her vision due to hereditary Type 2 Diabetes. While also out of her control, her first major life challenge happened about 48 years earlier.
“When I was three months old my mother gave me away,” she detailed.
It was a cold October night, when she said her birth mother left her on her father’s sister’s doorstep. She said her aunt kept hearing a crying child, and after checking her house, opened the door to find Torain with her one bottle and a blanket. Her aunt’s dog had found her first and laid on top of her to protect her from the cold.
“How I got saved was by that dog. That dog laid on top of me and kept me warm,” she said.
Though Thompson and Torain’s life stories have few mutual details, both were about to share them with students who meet just across the train tracks running behind Industries Of The Blind.
“They’re talented students,” Thompson said. “I want to see how they’re going to put their minds to it.”
Industries of the Blind has teamed up with students at UNC Greensboro to create pieces of art demonstrating what the world looks like through the eyes of the visually impaired. This year, they’re doing so through photography.
“We start talking and it’s like how do I transform that into something physical,” said UNCG senior Jenna Futrell, who’s been paired with Thompson.
The students interview the employees, learning about their lives and perception of the world in an attempt to bring it to light, even though their view has long been dark.
“I still have a very good memory of how things used to be,” Thompson said, saying her every day is similar to waking up in your room at night, trying to make your way through the room with only shadows as guides.
“I can see shadows, I can see the light,” Torain said, glancing up at the light FOX8 used while interviewing her.
“You want to make sure it’s perfect because it is about someone else,” Futrell said.
The students will complete their projects in a few weeks. Once they’re completed, they’ll be put up on the side of the Industries Of The Blind building, just as previous students’ projects have been.
“It just brings tears to my eyes when I talk about this story, because it hurts me. It really hurts,” Torain said. “It hurts.”
For more information about Industries of the Blind, click here.
Eleonora Strano is a Franco-Italian photographer based in France. Her work explores themes such as isolation and invisibility whether it is geographical, cultural, environmental, social, political or visual. Her images are often imprinted by nostalgia, memory and time. In 2019, her work was exhibited at Espace de l’Art Concret in Mouans-Sartoux, as part of “Des marches, démarches” curated by FRAC PACA, and has been part of Jeune Création in Romainville, Circulation(s) in Paris and the 37th edition of the Festival international de mode, de photographie et d’accessoires in Hyères. She was nominated as one of the 31 women photographers to watch for in 2019 by the British Journal of Photography, one of the 250 photographers of 2020 by the PhMuseum, and has been listed as one of the 150 emerging European photographers of 2021 by GUP Magazine. Eleonora Strano is a member of Eyes on Talents, Hans Lucas, Women Photograph and Blink, and works in the South of France. In parallel to her work with the media as a photojournalist, she develops artistic projects among which is a photographic commission launched by Université Côte d’Azur in Nice, Villa Arson and Académie 5 about biocontrol. She is currently working on her next project about shipwrecks, memory and the Anthropocene in Saint-Pierre et Miquelon for which she was the recipient of the BnF grant Radioscopie de la France.