Thursday, July 23, 2009

Floaters, Handicaps & Stupidity...

Well, it's not exactly dodging bullets for that world renowned Pulitzer Prize winning photo essay, but at least the Pork Pie looks kinda good...

I distinctly remember the time and place when it happened ten years ago. I tried to read a list and my eyes couldn't focus. What the!?! Age had finally come calling- prolonged late night TV and intense staring and straining through a grain magnifier had finally taken their toll. I needed reading glasses. Five years later, I woke up one morning to blurred spots of fuzziness and "flashing lights" in the corner of my left eye later that evening- that kinda threw me. Found out I had developed floaters. These are not the traditional spots in front of your eyes that everyone experiences, they're small masses of cells that separate from the back of your eyeball and start floating about casting "shadows" on the front. If you squint in bright light against a light background, they appear as if small jellyfish lazily hanging about, otherwise, they're just small out of focus grey spots. Fortunately, they only obscure about 10-15% of the sight in my left eye and the situation has stabilized, but since I photograph with my left eye, it has sometimes made critical focusing difficult.

With considerable patience and practice however, I have trained myself to photograph with my right eye- something I had previously thought absolutely impossible (notice how nose in photo is seemingly enlarged and bent towards left). It took some time to get my overall sense of balance and composition using my other eye, but now I actually forget which one I used.

And speaking of vision- I just got my first pair of prescription polarized sunglasses, and...Wow! Feel like I have the eyes of an eighteen year old (outside anyway)- it's like switching from 35mm to large format, everything's as if cut with a razor in 3D!

(Photos: Lisa Wood)

2 comments:

Mark Page said...

Big fan of that hat! Got a SKA thing going on RUDE BOY. Cheers for buying the book. I'm waiting with crdit card at the ready for "Pet Cemeteries" Have I got the right one?

Stan B. said...

One of the highlights of my life remains catching The Specials at the Hotel Diplomat in Times Square back in '79.

PS- Only got 36 or so more scans to edit for the pet cemetery book- and since they're from silver negs, I'd say you got well enough time to make nice with your card co in time to order...