Canon’s exhibition “World Unseen” brings photography to the visually impaired

Mar 25, 2024

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Canon’s exhibition “World Unseen” brings photography to the visually impaired

Mar 25, 2024

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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world unseen canon exhibition

The world of photography is often seen as a visual realm, but what about those who experience limited or no sight? This is the beautiful vision behind the World Unseen, a photography exhibition created by Canon in partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

An exhibition for everyone

Designed to be inclusive and immersive, the World Unseen welcomes visitors of all visual abilities – blind, partially sighted, and sighted – to experience the power of photography in a whole new way. Through a blend of soundscapes, captivating audio descriptions, braille text, and a technique called “raised prints,” visually impaired visitors can now fully experience the power of photography we all appreciate so much.

But remember that the exhibition isn’t just for those with visual impairments. It’s a powerful experience designed to bridge the gap between the sighted and non-sighted worlds. Special effects will be used on some photos to simulate different visual impairments, allowing sighted visitors to experience the world as someone with glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy might see it. This fosters empathy and understanding while simultaneously highlighting the importance of accessibility in the arts.

“The World Unseen exhibition opens up the world of photography and enables more blind and partially sighted people to experience the emotive stories, and physical touch, of these iconic images,” explains Dave Williams, inclusive design ambassador at the RNIB.

“As a braille user, it’s fantastic to be working with Canon to raise awareness of the possibilities of textured print and to see in action how technology can make art more accessible for people with sight loss.”

Canon launched a video showcasing a part of the World Unseen. It shows one of the photos on display, from Brent Stirton‘s Rhino Wars series. The image itself shows the world’s last male northern white rhinoceros, standing in the Kenyan savanna, surrounded by three men with rifles that protect him.

Canon’s PRISMAelevate XL software and the Arizona printer series turn Brent’s photo into a tactile experience. In the video, you can see the reaction of blind conservationist Lawrence Gunther as he touched the tactile image and read the description using Braille.

My absolutely favorite part of the video shows Lawrence as he engages with the tactile photo. “I’ve never felt anything like this before in my life,” he tells Brent. “What I’m feeling here, and the differences in the skin texture, it feels a lot like the animal. People are going to go nuts for this.”

“I’m so privileged to be here and experience this,” Lawrence says as his eyes tear up. “Oh, man. It’s… This is my dream.” I cried a little, too.

YouTube video

When and where?

The only complaint I have about the World Unseen is that it will be up for a very brief time. It occurs at Somerset House in London from April 5 to 7, 2024, so if you’re in London at that time, mark your calendars and make sure to visit.

But despite its short display, this exhibition is definitely a fantastic event. It’s a testament to the power of art to connect us all, regardless of our abilities. It’s a chance to see the world anew, to break down barriers, and to celebrate the beauty and stories that photography has to offer to everyone.

[via Digital Camera World]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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