How a Blind Photographer “Sees” the World
How does a person with visual impairments “see” the world? An even more challenging question is – how does a person with visual impairments capture that world through the lens of a camera? Photographer Chelsea Stark was born with optic nerve damage and is considered legally blind. She has a vision capacity that allows only one of her eyes to see approximately 2 feet in front of her. You may find it hard to believe, but even with a visual impairment, this tiny powerhouse is making waves in the fine art photography world with a special edition collection of her works now on display through August 27 at the Carnevale Gallery inside Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Chelsea’s interest in photography stems from her mentor and finance Robert Park, and the pair travel around the country to capture images of her favorite subjects: animals, flowers, and scenery. Recent trips include Snow Canyon State Park, San Francisco, and Duck Creek, Utah.
Since Chelsea’s field of vision is so narrow, she doesn’t “relate” to wide vistas, preferring to photograph objects close up in a more intimate setting. Once the images are taken on her tools of the trade – a Nikon, Sony A 6000 or an iPhone 6 – she uses the accessibility tools on her Mac such as speech, screen enlargement and an oversized mouse pointer to make any necessary adjustments.
She is so passionate about providing information about adapted technology and other apps for people with vision issues that she created both a Facebook group and a blog called iPhone and iPad Apps for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Visit http://iphoneandipadappsfortheblind.blogspot.comfor more information. Chelsea also has a personal blog athttp://chelseastarkcom.blogspot.com.
For the next few weeks, several of Chelsea’s fine art photography pieces will be on display at the Carnevale Gallery, located inside Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. A limited number of her unique works will be sold, with a portion of the proceeds donated to Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation. Carnevale Gallery is open from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily. More information can be found at http://www.carnevalegallery.com.
Chelsea recently visited the NBCF Learning Center to speak with our students about following their dreams while living in a sighted world. It is Chelsea’s desire to inspire those with vision loss and other impairments to not let their disability hinder their dreams.