A blind visual artist: Pete Eckert

One of the greatest things about photography is that behind this discipline there are many artists, stories, anecdotes, a thousand different techniques and a million of ways to live it and experience it.

Taking a picture is not complicated, you just need to have a camera, remove the lens cap and know which button to push. But despite the technical improvements that allow almost everyone to take very nice photos, being a photographer is something else. And if this wasn’t difficult enough by itself, imagine if you were blind like Pete Eckert is.

Pete was not born blind. Because of a disease, he was gradually losing his sight. Since he was a child he felt he was an artist. Actually, Pete studied sculpture in Boston and San Francisco Art schools. However, his relationship with photography began when he could not see because he had a great need to let his creativity to get out of his mind.

The way he become a photographer was by asking for advices in photography shops, talking to people, and listening to his inner “visual” instinct. It seems almost impossible that someone who can’t actually see, is able to depict his surrounding reality in such a finest way but, as the video explains, the sound helps him to create mental images in his head, later reflected in each photo.

| Artists Wanted | In Focus : Pete Eckert from Artists Wanted on Vimeo.

Pete’s art work describes the world he does not see, and attempts to describe a purely visual world through his other senses. All his visual, auditory and tactile memories and emotions are aligned and they need to be invoked to perform his work. He takes his pictures in total darkness, then “paints” the light he sees in his mind. Some people deny the fact that Pete is blind; and what is his answer? “I am a visual person, but I can not see.”

He uses three different cameras: a digital point-and-shoot Canon; an old Mamia Flex Twin lens reflex, and a large 4×5 Toyo view camera with a Rodenstock lens. Eckert works both black and white and colour and, in both cases, creates striking images that reflect movement and light, adding hints of color. His art is shot mostly at nighttime via long exposures.

This great photographer has been awarded in many occasions because he is blind artist and that’s a great achievement. However he is a remarkable artist who has received numerous prestigious prizes fighting with other “non-blind” artist as for example Wanted Exposure Artist Competition in 2008. If you want to know more about him visit his site where you can find information about his biography, shows, awards and much more.

Photo credits: North of neutral

 

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