New photographs

These new photographs are part of my ongoing journey and investigation into how I see the world.

I am at the beginning of that path, always learning about the world around me, and how my particular vision affects how I record  and feel the world through the images that I take. How shooting into the sun (contre jour), at night, or in glare is totally different for me as a vision impaired person.

What is it that makes my photographs special, uniquely my own?

This is the critical question moving forward.

It is such a privilege going out with a photographer such as Dr Marcus Bunyan, an education on how to place the camera, how to frame the world. New suggestions by him are to link an iPad directly to the camera in the field, so that I can open the images immediately to review them, instead of waiting to get back home and download them to my computer.

This is an exciting concept, one which I will investigate. I will need an attachment to mount the iPad (with hood to stop the glare of sunlight) on the tripod. It will enable me to review images in real time instead of not being able to see the image details until I am home. Stay tuned.

Still awaiting news of my Australia Council grant application. Keeps your fingers crossed!

Andrew

 

Andrew Follows. 'Women in pink and red' 2015

 

Andrew Follows
Women in pink and red
2015

 

Andrew Follows. 'Forgotten sleepers' 2015

 

Andrew Follows
Forgotten sleepers
2015

 

Andrew Follows. 'High Rise' 2015

 

Andrew Follows
High Rise
2015

 

Andrew Follows. 'Entrance to shelter' 2015

 

Andrew Follows
Entrance to shelter
2015

 

Andrew Follows. 'Wood stacked for a fire' 2015

 

Andrew Follows
Wood stacked for a fire
2015

 

 

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PLGRM presents ‘The Blind Photographer’

Scott Bradshaw. 'Andrew Follows. The Blind Photographer' 2015

Scott Bradshaw
Andrew Follows. The Blind Photographer
2015

 

Blind photographer; it’s an oxymoron. To interpret the chaos of the world and reconstruct it through the barrel of a lens is intimidating even to the fully sighted. Now imagine 90% of your vision disappearing. Seem like an impossibly daunting task? Try telling that to Andrew Follows.

Legally blind his entire life, Andrew gained a new lease on life in 2008 when he picked up his first “pocket rocket” – a term he has coined for your standard consumer point and shoot camera. In a world where analogue fetishism disregards technology as cold and isolating, digital photography gave Andrew a lens through which he could finally see the big picture.

Meeting Andrew is a revelation. There is no pretension when he speaks of his passion, simply warmth. Despite being exhibited in cities such as Paris, Edinburgh and Luxembourg, Andrew is open to discussing his techniques and working methods. “[Photographers] don’t like to share. They’re very protective on how they take their photographs. With me I just want to show everyone”.

Andrew uses his incredible story to inspire others. He runs a series of workshops inclusive to both the impaired and fully able, to break stigmas and mentalities of what a blind person can and can’t do.

Behind the camera he is confident and decisive. In front of it he is bashful, shy and almost embarrassed. Perhaps as a way to acclimatise to the situation, Andrew immediately directs our photographer. “Open the windows, you’ll get more light… Maybe you could take a photo in the mirror… I think this room would be best for this photograph”.

Andrew refuses to be defined by his condition. He is a photographer above anything else.

“It’ll look better this way. Trust me,” says the blind man.

Andy McCallum

 

Scott Bradshaw. 'Untitled (Portrait of Andrew Follows)' 2015

Scott Bradshaw
Untitled (Portrait of Andrew Follows)
2015

 

My eye condition is called retinitis pigmentosa. It’s an eye disease that affects people differently. So in my case there’s no vision in my left eye and tunnel vision in my right eye. The tunnel would be about the size of a 20 cent piece. I’ve always had it.

Is your eyesight deteriorating?
Yes. Slowly.

Will it ever fully go?
Yeah.

Do you have any idea how long until that happens?
No.

Isn’t that scary?
… Yeah.

 

Scott Bradshaw. 'Untitled (Andrew in front of his computer screens)' 2015

Scott Bradshaw
Untitled (Andrew in front of his computer screens)
2015

 

“If we didn’t have digital we would still have film and I wouldn’t be getting anywhere… It was because you could take the card out and put it though the TV or the computer and all of a sudden I was seeing a lot more than a normal film print. I could magnify it. I started to see more detail; more shapes, more colours, more textures. The camera is my eyes!”

 

Scott Bradshaw. 'Untitled (Andrew in front of his computer screens)' 2015

Scott Bradshaw
Untitled (Andrew in front of his computer screens)
2015

 

“That’s the reason I do the workshops. A – to show the mainstream what it’s like to be a visually impaired photographer through simulator glasses. And for low vision people it’s to show them that you can use the cameras at all. To see the world that they can’t see, just by taking the photo and putting it through the computer.”

 

Scott Bradshaw. 'Untitled (Andrew in front a work from his series 'Night Oceans' 2012 )' 2015

Scott Bradshaw
Untitled (Andrew in front a work from his series ‘Night Oceans’ 2012 )
2015

 

I have a natural eye for photography.

Even though you only have 10% of your vision?

As far as I’m concerned I’m getting there. I’ve still got a lot of work to do. I’ve accomplished in the 8 years I’ve been doing this, what usually takes 10-15 years to do. I’m just scratching the surface… A lot of people just sit at home and wait for the world to come to them.

 

LIKE ANDREW FOLLOWS PHOTOGRAPHER ON FACEBOOK

February – May 2015 news

A few new images Andrew has captured over the last few months are featured at the bottom of the posting.

Sensory Experience

Andrew was invited to be part of the Culture Victoria Sensory Experience, a series of short films on blind and deaf artists.
The mainstream understanding of deaf and blind people has shifted over time. When once it was thought that blind people should be taken care of and sheltered, or deaf people taught to hear and speak, a deeper awareness of distinct culture and experience has emerged.

Sensory Experience explores the world through the eyes and ears of the deaf and blind communities in Victoria and seeks to demystify some of the stereotypes and preconceptions that survive to this day. The four films that make up part of this story highlight Victoria’s Deaf and blind communities within an historical framework, fostering new insights and provoking thought about the way we understand these communities today. Each film is an open invitation to share the experience of the world from another perspective.

Hidden From Sight

The blind community in Victoria is an independent, progressive and highly motivated group of individuals that spans all ages. Organisations such as Vision Australia seek to empower individuals who are blind or have low vision to participate in life within the mainstream world in any way they choose.

Incredible advances in technology have meant that there has never been more information freely available to everyone, however people who are blind or have low vision can only access around five percent of everything that is published. We have the technology, what is holding us back?

Hidden From Sight explores Accessibility, Technology and Advocacy through the experiences of three individuals who are blind or have low vision.

In recognition of Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai

 

Andrew is proud to take part in a new International exhibition on behalf of the Mirca Art Group to be held in Sweden in August.

Show date: 29 Aug 2015 – 24 Oct 2015.
Location: Ostra Gymnasiet, Skogas, Sweden.

 

Andrew Follows. 'Reflection, Melbourne' 2015

Andrew Follows
Reflection, Melbourne
2015

Andrew Follows. 'Reflection, Melbourne' 2015

Andrew Follows
Reflection, Melbourne
2015

Andrew Follows. 'City laneway, Melbourne' 2015

Andrew Follows
City laneway, Melbourne
2015

Andrew Follows. 'Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne' 2015

Andrew Follows
Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne
2015