Blind Photographers Exhibition, Shinjuku, Tokyo

The annual National Blind Photographers Exhibition (Zenkoku Mojin Shashin-ten 全国盲人写真展) featuring photographs taken by blind photographers will be held in Shinjuku, Tokyo as follows:

Date/time: Dec. 7 to 12, 10:00 am – 5 pm
Place: Shinjuku Monolith Building, 1st floor

When you walk from JR Shinjuku Station, the large building is on the left of the Keio Plaza Hotel (and on the right of the KDDI Building).

Yes, there are blind photographers! How do they do it? Well, imagine how you would take pictures if you were blind. First, your ears would serve as a guide. By listening carefully, you can tell where the subject is and how far away. If you want to photograph a person, take the picture when you hear laughter. Your ears can serve well as a guide to when to take the shot.

For still-life subjects, you can touch the object (flowers, etc.) and decide which angle to photograph it from. If you’re waiting for a sunrise, feel the heat of the sun on your skin before taking the picture. You can also discern which direction the sun is in. Besides using your other four senses, a major boon is having a seeing person tell you what’s going on and when to take the picture.

The exhibition is quite big, showing 65 photos. They were selected from among 300 entries. There are two versions of each photo. One is a normal photo, and the other is an embossed or relief version which you can touch and feel.

A special copying machine by Minolta is used to make this 3-D print. Unfortunately, after Minolta and Konica merged, plans to further develop this special 3D copying machine has been shelved.

The exhibition is organized by the Nihon Bunka Kyokai (日本文化協会) advised by famous painter Hirayama Ikuo.

It has been held since 1985. More info here: