It’s extremely difficult to imagine what it would be like to be blind. Everyday tasks, which you and I take for granted, are extraordinary mountains for a blind person to climb. Imagine being born with no vision, in addition to lacking the ability to hear. Relying solely on taste, touch, and smell as your only way to sense the environment you are within, seems like a daunting task, doesn’t it?
Australian-based photographer Brendon Borellini lacks both senses. He was unfortunately born with congenital deafness and partial blindness, which has since progressed into total blindness. Life for Borellini is certainly different than the life we all are used to. Growing up was difficult. Being unable to interact fully with the world around him, learning about the world he was in took time, but Borellini has overcome many obstacles in his life. In 1989 he was honored as the 1989 Australian of the Year for his academic excellence. Since then, he has gone on to college, and has taken a rather unexpected career path… Photography
Yes, I know it sounds quite impossible, but Borellini is anything but ordinary. What started out as a joke, after meeting Steve Mayer-Miller, the artistic director of Crossroads Arts, an organization which helps those with disabilities, Borellini picked up a camera and jokingly began snapping shots. Soon though, he began taking the process much more seriously, looking at it as a challenge rather than just a way to get a laugh.
Instead of using his eyes to see the subject of his photos, he has to rely on ‘feeling’ the subject with his available senses. Whether it’s the scent of the waves crashing on shore, the feeling of the stones and sand beneath his feet, or the mist felt on his face from the breeze blowing the caps of breaking waves towards him, Borellini seems at piece when he has a camera in his hands.
After taking numerous photographs, however, Borellini had no way of interpreting his work besides feedback he received from others via a device that can convert speech into braille. Mayer-Miller decided to do something about this.
“This led to researching devices that would enable a photograph, a two-dimensional photograph to become a three-dimensional photograph, and he would be able to at least interpret the textures in that photograph,” explained Mayer-Miller.
Using a 3D topographic printer, Mayer-Miller was able to have the photos taken by Borellini 3D printed, allowing for the texture of the images to come through.
“I can recognize the elements of the image. I think it’s very impressive to be able to feel the images I am taking,” stated Borellini through a computer.
The tactile enhancements have allowed him to ‘see’ the photos in a very different way than those with vision would see them. For Borellini, however, it’s the experience of taking the photographs, and interacting with the environment around him that’s most important to him, as he no longer feels isolated from the world. Discuss this incredible use of a type of 3D printing in the blind photography forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video provided below, a short documentary on Borellini.
You May Also Like
Could 3D Printed Metal Made With Scrap Material Solve Our Aluminum Problems?
The additive manufacturing division of 6K Inc, 6K Additive, has purchased the Pennsylvania company Specialty Metallurgical Products (SMP), a specialist in producing titanium and zirconium tablets for the metal alloys...
Redefine Meat Snaps Up Former Nestlé and Unilever Executives
Israel-based 3D printed animal-free meat developer Redefine Meat has appointed former Nestlé and Unilever executives ahead of the European commercial launch of its series of five “New-Meat” products in November 2021....
3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: October 17, 2021
We’ve got several multi-day conferences to tell you about in this week’s roundup, along with webinars on topics ranging from semiconductors and bioprinting to digital dentistry and more. Read on...
French Hospitals to Perform Medical 3D Printing On-Demand with Stratasys
Stratasys signed a deal with French med-tech startup Bone 3D to provide 3D printing technology to local hospitals. This cooperation is part of Bone 3D’s HospiFactory initiative, equipping healthcare institutions...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.